Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Saturday, April 23, 2016

belonging

 Having joined the Navy following high school I have been somewhat of a traveling man. I have many memories of being here and there. I'm not complaining about that but I do find it different somehow. You could say my roots have been stretched. Eventually they reached Greensboro, Maryland and have taken root once again. Having lived here for twenty five years or so I am starting to settle in. I've been here long enough to watch her grow. I saw the addition of the second traffic light and the appearance of a neon sign on Sunset Ave. That was when a bar and restaurant opened up. I was afraid we would see a proliferation of that, but it didn't happen. The place closed down and the building sits empty once again. I remember when we had a pet store on Main street, now long closed. I've seen the drug store move from one building to another. That spelled the end of the hardware store. That is what I'm talking about here, memories. I've been here long enough to have witnessed history taking place. I can't say that about the other places I lived over the years. I wasn't there long enough for that to happen. All I have from those years are snippets in time. Just isolated incidents and faded pictures. The things we remember are either dramatic or things ingrained over time. I have found it is the little ingrained things that touch our heartstrings the most. Familiarity is a comfort.
 There have been a number of songs written about this. All those songs speak to what I am thinking about. A place of belonging. I believe it is an inherent need to belong that brings these feelings to the surface. We all need to be part of something. That is why we take such pride in those that came before us. We call it heritage. I was born into a small community. We were like a family in a number of ways. We knew family names and connections. The churches we attended had been attended by our ancestors, The school was the same building Mom and Dad had attended. We knew all the best spots for everything. Yes, it was an intimacy we enjoyed without the realization of why. That is what I call ingrained. Separated from that, it become obvious.
 These little connections can be established elsewhere. Maybe it isn't in the first person but it is close. I drive by the Methodist church where my grandchildren attended pre-school. I go by the high school my boys graduated from, now attended by my grandson. Over on Main street is the house I rented when I first arrived in Greensboro. I've been here for weddings and for funerals. The faces, if not the names, I see daily are familiar. I'll never know the place intimately, that takes a lifetime. The best I can hope for is a feeling of belonging here. I'm not certain that will ever happen. I have written about this before and it does nag at me. It is not a desire to return " home " that nags. That place only exists in memory and I carry that memory with me. Just what it is eludes me. Perhaps it is up to me, to allow that to happen. Is it a matter of acceptance ? Yes, I suppose it is. Seems like a surrender to me though. I don't want to surrender to time. I guess none of us what that but it is inevitable. Time and change. Politicians speak of it and preachers preach about it. Our mirrors tell the truth of it. If you spend all your time looking back you can't see what is ahead. The secret may be to live in anticipation. Our future is built upon the past. Each moment is another chance to add to that. Just keep building. We belong here until called away. That is a lesson hard learned. I'm still struggling with it. Here isn't a physical place, here is just a moment in time. I belong here.