There are places in my life which change at a pace which I cannot contain. But there are others which seem to permanently remain the same. It has to do with the people there are there as well as the actual place.
Lakeview Terrace, Woburn Massachusetts is the same since I was there when I was a toddler. It has the same red door leading to the furnace- although it is rusted now- the same curving of trees, and the big shiny lake around it.
I would get lost here visiting my grandparents. The paved roads seemed so large as it burned by feet . The trees , the hills which surrounded it and the small blue school. My golden retriever Gina would walk with me as our shadows were bigger than us and we walked down the park.
I was four years old and had a mean independent streak which defied my tendencies to get lost. I just left , without thinking of where things might lead. I am not sure how I got out of the house, but my grandmother didn’t notice. I don’t blame her , I would disappear on my mother all the time in the malls or on trips. It’s almost as if I let the passage escape me and I no longer look back to the people behind me. I was never afraid of discovering things alone and I enjoyed doing it.
Lakeview Terrace is one of many streets which surround a large lake. It is approximately twenty minutes away from Boston, and very little has been constructed in the past twenty years.
As I walked past, and was about to go to that lake except I was rudely scooped up from my adventures- just in time I think as a car was about to crush me.
Today there are small relics of my childhood. My grandparents live a white house with red shutters, and my great Aunts in true Everybody loves Raymond fashion live right next door.
Little has changed from that moment, including their fear of me going outside alone. My grandmother still worries that I won’t get back o.k… from walking next door.
But time has passed. Their skin is paper thin, riddled and laced with small purple bruises. The wrinkles on their skin is more pronounced and they are starting to forget. It doesn’t stop them from nagging me about my life… which to them seems insane.
I am the antithesis of the American Dream. They are the first generation Italian Americans and yet I chose to galavant around the world. Hey, I started moving around since I was six months old and went to South America before I could talk I doubt this will change anytime soon. And worse, I do things for free…. makes no sense right?
Even though they don’t understand my choices in life I know they love me with a purity and ferocity that I doubt many others feel towards me. I feel they are fading, like watermarked photographs and I feel saddened because with them dies some of the ties I have with my American family.
I might just be overly dramatic.
I no longer however walk through the forests and the lake as gladly as if I discovered a new treasure. I should remind myself to always know where I come from.