Time will tell… if you let it. It is instructive to view things over a period of time and this is especially so when you see the changes to familiar things. There is for example a very humble post I go by on my walks. This morning I strolled past it… and was taken aback by the new growth that is circling the grey wood. Last I recall, it was quite bare in winter time. Those vines were all but gone, but they are now having a resurgence.
I remember these vines because they are one of those things in your face - a reminder that nature is constantly trying to take over. The post is long dead, but the vines renew themselves according to the season. Last picture I took of these vines, they were in muted shades of indigo, purple, and deep green. For a humble vine, they displayed a lot of colour in the fall. Now in contrast, the minty new leaves are sharp and half-formed. Their edges are brimming with an orangey-red colour. They are infused with life.
These kind of changes back and forth are very pleasant to witness. It means that within my sphere of continuity, there is variation and controlled dynamics. When I walk, I go past our old neighbourhood not far away. It is the world of knockdowns over there. Barely a house standing that harks back to when we lived there. Most of the new people seem about thirty-ish and seem odd in these huge domiciles. I remember our house was quite a bit more humble. We bought it when we both cashed in our savings, and we tackled the whole thing top to bottom with a lot of sweat equity.
Time will tell… if you let it. That is, if there is sufficient time. It’s almost like a science experiment. The neighbourhood is the control environment and time is the dynamic force imposed on it. You see the reaction and the various mysteries show their faces with greater clarity. Both sets of leaves, spring and fall - have their particular beauty that belongs to that period. Seeing them in the aggregate adds to their presence as a vital and living thing that expands and contracts according to the forces at play.
Even in the house, there is a noticeable difference that comes with the seasons. Today I have opened up all the windows. A breeze cascades through along with the sound of bird song and a few rogue lawnmowers. Bright sunlight streams in from the left and I have to close the blinds to see my computer screen. In the winter it’s a different feeling, a little more cozy. Long shadows, and the sound of the furnace kicking in, the smell of furnace air. A variety of sensations but equally nice in different ways.
Isn’t this the way it’s supposed to be? I am reminded of the Kurt Vonnegut aphorism… “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” There is a blessing that comes with the passage of time even when you are one of the members of that biosphere that has also undergone some changes. I look back to pictures of when we both moved into this area. We looked a little different than we do now. We have also said goodbye to some of the old stock neighbours. Some have moved away, and some have passed on. They still exist larger than life in memory, and they are a measuring stick for our lives. We are now becoming the cranky lawn-obsessed oldsters we used to see next door when we were quite a bit younger and had small kids on our hands. I can remember looking for a new house, and touring many of those on sale, you could see university graduation pictures prominently displayed on the walls. Now I look in our own hallway. We have become those people and I imagine at some point, someone else will be walking these halls and seeing the grad pictures of our kids, and wondering about who we are, and how we liked it here.
I would say the answer is… very much. We both liked, and like it here a lot. I think that feeling is called “home”. It includes the place and the people. One funny thing that comes up from time to time is when our kids ask us “who we used to be” as if our lives suddenly exist in the past tense. Well, we are the same people we used to be, but it seems we have changed too. A lot has happened. Mostly good things that bring a smile in memory. But time marches on doesn’t it?
My walk, and seeing those vines bursting forth with new life, reminds me that things are deliciously unfolding pretty much the way they are should, and we get to see it all from the front row. There is something undeniably good in all that.