I’ve always had a strong sense that places are important. I’m not a particular sentimental person about some things, but my strongest memories are very often associated with specific locations.
I wrote about this five years ago on this very blog, when I
trespassed in a hospital due for demolition visited an important part of my family’s history.
(Just a little warning: that post is intense. I couldn’t re-read all of it.)
I’ve thought about this part of me many times over the years.
Several years ago, my brother and I were north of the city, not far from the small, country elementary school we attended. I badgered him into letting me stop and take some pictures. He didn’t understand why I wanted to do it, but I was driving, so we did it.
When I left my job with The Salvation Army in 2013, I walked through the community center I helped design and built, taking tons of photos, trying to soak it all in while I still had an employee keycard. It took a couple of years before I could go to an event or work out up there without weird emotional tugs.
I’ve thought a lot about it over the last month or so.
Recently, my alma mater started tearing down the dorm I lived in for two years with one of my closest friends. It wasn’t a nice building, and I really only slept there, but I’ve been cutting through campus while out running errands to keep tabs on the demolition. I’ve stopped to take some pictures, and was disappointed to realize I took very few of our room while we lived there.1
Last week, my wife and I purchased her grandmother’s house, after selling our previous one. We moved our family of five into a home where my mother-in-law and her siblings grew up.
There’s a lot of history in this house, but it’s not my history. I’ve watched Merri experience some of the things that I thought were unique to me in our relationship. Several times, I’ve caught her just looking into a room or out into the yard, and I know she’s thinking about the time she spent here as a kid, or when she lived here in college.
I’m sure that with some time, I’ll feel the same way about this house as I did our previous one.
I don’t know what my point is in all of this. It’s just been on my mind, so I thought I’d share it, and encourage you to take some photos of your surroundings. One day, you may want them.
- This has made me realize I really just missed the age of the ubiquitous camera in school. There are probably a dozen or so decent photos of me in high school; kids today take that many before lunch every day. I envy them, to a degree. ↩