Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Knowing a place

I remember returning from a trip abroad in France, when I was 15. I was quite disappointed with Rockford. We returned at night, and I remember looking out the window of the bus at the storefronts lining State Street and feeling acutely (acutely, as only a teenager can, however unnecessary the emotional burden!) a sense of despair at how drab and uninspired the buildings were in comparison to the centuries old architecture we had seen. Rockford suddenly seemed a very narrow place, seemingly unanchored by history and adrift in a sea of cornfields that paled in comparison to the lavender fields dotting the back of Provence. This was the perception of a teenager who was itching to grow up and see more of the world, having just realized how vast the world truly is. Rockford was pitifully tiny in comparison. How could it compete?

Now that I am grown up, my perception has shifted. I no longer see home as a place that has been exhausted of possibilities. Rather, the narrow-mindedness of youth has fallen away and I am seeing home with new eyes, even as I slip comfortably back into my niche when I return home to visit.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.--T.S. Eliot

1 comment:

dwain said...

Beautifully said.

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust