I wasn't surprised that it's changed. All places do with the passage of time and despite not having lived there since 1993, I did work in town off & on into 2003, and by then it had already changed a lot, but what a transformation it has apparently gone through in the last 8 years! Aside from my Church, grammar school and 2 shops, it literally doesn't resemble the place of my childhood & teen years, nor does it Feel like that place. As a matter of fact, I felt nothing as we walked! It's That different now.
As you look at the buildings, their architecture and shops, you see no rhyme or reason; there's no flow or symmetry. It's garish, ill-functioning, ugly. The atmosphere is that of a poorly attempted trendy, high-end Mall. No diversity to be seen.
But, what I realized as I walked with Mom is that this place, so different now in its current incarnation, no longer holds any of the ghosts & demons that have haunted me through the years since I left. They're Gone - how liberating! I was practically smiling ear-to-ear by the time we got back to her car.
And, unlike Mom, (who was upset by our walk), I'm not sad or bitter that our hometown isn't even a shadow of what it used to be. It is a shame that one day, if Hubbs & I have children, I won't be able to take the same walk with them to share my childhood as my Mom did with me because my stories will have no visual connection to what the would see. (And what they would see there wouldn't give them the right impression overall of how it was back then anyhow). It's not a place I would ever move back to or want to raise my children in. In fact, if that walk had been my first visit, I wouldn't want to go back there again, another shame, but I'm not disappointed by it.
In a way, I feel as though I've said goodbye and ended this chapter of my life. Incredible what a simple walk on an Autumn day can do!
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