If you’ve never been there and most of you haven’t (and even more of you are thinking I’m making up the name), then you don’t know the quaint home of my childhood.
I took a look at the barber shop where I use to have my hair cut. I drove past the old high school location that is now a memorial park. I cruised slowly past one of my old girlfriend’s houses. And I finally stopped in front of the Farmland United Methodist Church; the location that I spent most of my time in Junior High and High School. The building hasn’t changed at all, except for the fact that it looks much, much smaller. The church put window air conditioning units in a couple places but beyond that, it’s the same place I last visited over 30 years ago.
The last time I graced those doors, I was much younger, much lighter, and much dumber. The years have taught my mind. The miles have changed my body. The world has hardened my heart. While the world was a more simple place, in truth, I was a little more simple back then too.
Since then, I’ve experienced the hardship of emotional pain, financial struggle and professional challenge. I’ve changed jobs a dozen time. I’ve moved houses half that many times. I’ve made great friends that I will never forget and some that I can’t even remember their names.
Driving past this building reminded me of a time when everything seemed to be difficult but I had no idea what life would be 30 years later. Kids. Finances. Household responsibilities. Looming retirement.
I sometimes wish my heart was softer. I sometimes long for those simple days.
But I can’t imagine being 13, 14 or 15 years old again. I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to take that 35 year trip again.
Actually, the more I think about it, I’ve decided just leave the past in the past and celebrate today.