Saturday, August 08, 2009

Special Promotion: The Grand Picture

When I was a kid I was fortunate enough to vacation in the place that I am fortunate enough to live in now. Yes, I was one of them. This month, as we cruise through the height of the summer tourism season, I am looking back at the places I remember from back then through my eyes today.

Well Company, now that I've made you take a nostalgic look back at my childhood vacations, what happens now? Where do we go? Most importantly, what can we take away from this? And of course, am I ever going to make you do this unpleasant task again? Those are all very important questions, and I am not even sure where to begin.
Well let's begin with looking at the proverbial moral of the proverbial story, both of which are very much real and neither of which should have been proceeded by the word "proverbial." As I was pecking away at my keyboard writing the last post, about the ride to and from the places I go, I found myself talking about how the mystery and the magic sort of disappear as I get older, and I was struck with just how familiar of a refrain that sounded. Time after time as I wrote about different aspects of the trips of my youth and the day to day routines of today, I kept falling into this rut where everything loses its magic, its elegance, it mystery and the bulk of its fun as you grow up. And that's sad.
The key here is that the magic, the wonder, all that stuff can disappear in the blink of an eye. Well, not really one blink of the eye, more like a million blinks of the eye as time passes and one grows up, but it really amazing how suddenly it's not there anymore. That two lane highway leading away from the freeway into the mysterious and exciting future flips around very quickly and becomes something that is holding you black from the freeway that leads you to the places you used to get away from. How quickly the neat knives and hats in the store become hackneyed tourist trap stuff. And how suddenly that lake loses all its romance when you can paddle across it whenever you like.
The point here, Company, is that you definitely have to take pains to not take all that wonder and mystery for granted. Do whatever you can to sort of capture it. Take off the sunglasses of adulthood and let the light of childhood into your very soul. I sort of sounded like a Southern preacher there, didn't I? Anyway, you have to remain able to sort of be a kid again when you go on vacation or even at moments as you go through your daily life; to be able to have that wonder, that mystery, that sort of general childhood open mindedness that make everything so much better.
Point number two? Nurture that sort of wonder with your kids, if you have kids. Nurture that sort of wonder with other people's kids if they trust you with them. For one the kids will love you and for two things will still be neat for them. That's the only way this works. Just remember when you grow up that four hours in the car still gets you pretty far from home, and that knives under glass with stuff carved on the handles are still neat, and that the park is still the park it always was, that's why everyone likes it so much, and so on and so forth. That's the key, that's the point, and that's the value of looking back at the way things were and comparing them to the way things are not. And not in the way that bitter elders do where everything was better forty years ago. You just have to remember to look at things like you are a child. That's the key.

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