Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Staying home

 I was reminded of a paradox this morning. Many of us will move to a new location and when we get there, start to make it just like the one we left. It is an attempt to make it home. The thing about that is the ones already living there see their home being replaced and resentment builds. A longing for the old days permeates the atmosphere. Thinly veiled resentment and anger become the norm. The original inhabitants become the outsiders, having sold their position in society. And that is the paradox. We will sell our heritage and complain when it is gone.
 I have never known anyone that claims a city as their heritage. Heritage is always in the country. I'm sure there are those that would disagree with me and say how much they love the city. The city has that air of " toughness " and " street cred " about it. The urban jungle it has been called. The city does not conjure up warm memories of home, of Mom and apple pie. The city does not represent freedom, rather it represents progress and wealth. Funny how the rich folks always want to vacation in the country. It has always been so. Funny too how they speak of escaping the city, as if it were a prison.
 When those city folks get to the country they start to make it like the city. The reason is a simple one, they don't know how to survive in the country. There is little for them to do that they have knowledge of, or skill to perform. Sure they can learn these skills but that takes effort. The country has always been a place for vacation, why should I have to exert effort to live there. And with that the process begins. First we will need to eat. Build restaurants that serve the food we are used to eating. Then we need entertainment, nightclubs are best. And what about shopping, boutiques are cute and carry the latest fashions. That is where it starts and will progress from there. Shopping malls and modern housing will follow that. The land will begin to be sold, large tracts of it, for development. Infrastructure is the last step. The widening of the highways and signage. Soon before anyone notices it is gone. That quaint little country town is gone. The locals aren't so friendly anymore. Those that moved here and began that process of transformation begin to assume power. They join the town council and various boards. The absorption is complete, heritage is lost. A few will hang on, living off that heritage, vestiges of the past, admired by some for their tenacity and laughed at by others.
 I have seen this process twice in my lifetime. The first was in my hometown. I left there forty some years ago and by all accounts the transformation is complete. I was aware of it back then, having been told by my parents how things " used to be, " I saw the corporate chain stores move in and close the Mom and Pop stores. I watched as boutique after boutique cropped up on main street. I saw the crowding of the beaches and the trash left behind. I watched as the money flowed freely. The rest I have only heard about and do not have that first hand knowledge. I'm thinking I am glad for that. Too many I speak too have an air of sorrow in their voices. They have watched, helpless to change the momentum of progress. And progress is the city.
 I am seeing the beginning of that process now. Of course I have no deep sentimental attachment to this area, It is not my home. It is where I live however and I don't like the changes I am seeing. There is little that can be done. Money moves the world and money alone. Those that can afford it move to the " country " for the peace and serenity it affords them. They move from the city and the suburbs to experience more freedom. Then they discover that freedom comes at a price. Whether that price is monetary or merely inconvenient, it does have a price. They find living in " Disney " isn't all that they thought it would be. Then the changes begin, to make it more like home. The cycle continues and it will ever be so, until we run out of country.
 I'm no different than anyone else. I just want to go home at the end of the day. The question is, where is home ? The answer is found in the old axiom, home is where the heart is. So where is your heart ? My heart is with those I love. My life is centered around my wife. Together we are home. The physical location isn't as important as the presence of each other. The land doesn't make it home. We have and will adjust to whatever environment we find ourselves. Everything else is just for comfort. That is why they say, all the comforts of home. We do like to be comfortable, especially so as we age. Drama, adventure and insecurity are for the young. George Bernard Shaw said; youth is wasted on the young and I couldn't agree more. When we are young we crave the future, when we are old we crave youth. After a lifetime of searching, we just want to go home. The truth is we never leave. All is not lost, it has just changed its' appearance. Given time, it will change again. If you remain true to yourself, you will never leave home, just take it with you. Home is not a place, but a feeling.