Day 11 of Writing 101: Today we’re to write about where we lived when we were 12 years old. We’re supposed to make it exciting.
The old maxim “you never know what you have until it’s gone” runs especially true when it comes to your home town. To me, growing up in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania was far from exciting. I mean, there was nothing to do for a young boy full of energy.
I think I’ve made my point.
When I was twelve, there was a lot happening in my life. I would love to blame my unappreciative attitude on life’s events, but I never appreciated it. Not once. I was surrounded by a national forest with spectacular hiking and camping within minutes of driving, and I whined about my backwards little town.
Certainly, there was a lot that could have been better about my town and the area I lived. Honestly, I’m not aware of any place on earth that is without its flaws. The point is, things that I’m passionate about now, things that I wish I had close at hand like I did back then, I ignored them. Of course I went hiking and camping, but I took it for granted.
I took a lot for granted growing up. Most of us probably do. I think that’s why I want so much for my children to really enjoy what they have today. I’m not always vigilant about this. In fact, I think my wife is more proactive than I am. OK, let’s be honest, I don’t have to think about it: she is more proactive than I am.
And my kids do. We don’t have a vast forest surrounding us, but we have places where we can enjoy hiking. They love it. I love it. The times we spend in these oases rejuvenate us and bond us in ways that words can never express.
Sometimes I miss my home town. I miss walking for miles and miles, not just in the forest, but in the town itself. I miss the peacefulness of it. Maybe I’ve romanticized the little I remember, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. It’s better to remember the good, even the romanticized good, than the bad.
I took it for granted back then. Hopefully that isn’t an attitude I pass on to my kids now. If they see my love and passion for creation consistently, maybe they’ll carry that with them always.