Growing Up – Reflection Essay.
“Taryn, go put rocks in your dad’s shoes.” I recall only briefly the words of one of my dad’s coworkers encouraging me to play a joke on my dad. Being that I was only a little girl at the time I only remember this vaguely. Looking back, I loved rocks, bugs, leaves, mud, dirt, worms, anything and everything Mother Nature had to offer. I had a connection with the outdoors and I still do today. Nature is my happy place.
Growing up in the safety of a neighborhood highly populated with children, the back yard was my kingdom. Its vast expanse gave me hours of tag and hide and seek, not to mention catching countless butterflies. I remember the feeling of the heat of the summer months pouring down on me and my friends like it was yesterday, probably because I still feel the same way about the outdoors now. One of the biggest memories I have of my old neighborhood is the hill we used to live on.
We rolled down the hill, ran up the hill, sledded down the hill, and lived on that hill all year round. I remember the challenge of running up that giant hill. I recently visited the place I used to live, the hill that used to seen so big to me now looked like a tiny slope. Funny how those things change when perception changes
When I was about eight years old I found out we were moving. The walls seemed to have come crashing in. What? Moving? I remember being devastated beyond repair, knowing that our yard and our neighborhood that I loved so dearly didn’t have a spot in my future. Secretly excited about the new place, I couldn’t wait to move in. A few months of packing and storing went by and we moved into the new house. An apartment?
Apartments don’t have a yard. They don’t have open space; not like our old house did. It was quite the shock to a young outdoorsman…or woman…like me. A few months after moving into the apartment, our new house began to be built. My parents reassured me that our new yard would be big and that we’d still have a hill but when I saw it for the first time, reality exceeded their explanations.
The new yard was huge. It even had a forest. There were deer and pheasants; more wildlife than ever imaginable. Going on safaris became my new favorite hobby. Looking for fish in the small creek made for a great afternoon. Hours of fort building and ice skating gave the winter months some variation from the usual sledding and snowmen. My imagination had been out done.
Everyday my imagination gets out done over and over. When 9/11 came in 2001, I didn’t understand what had happened completely until about three or four years later, it was on of those “cry because everyone else is crying” situations. Now that I’m older, I’ve realized how as life goes on, a person’s perception of events and places change. Just like when I was little and I ran up that giant hill that later became a small slope. The huge backyard with the creek, that is now only an open plot of land and a puddle. As we grow older the small things become more miniscule and the big events from our past develop into life changers. As in nature, we try to balance all these elements to the best of our ability so that life can carry on as it may.