Growing up...

One of my closest childhood friends shared this picture with me a few weeks ago.  She had posted it onto my personal Facebook page.  Within minutes the picture started filling up with happy memories from old friends.

This "tunnel" was part of my hometown.  We called it a tunnel, although it was more of an underpass.  Just a piece of cement with a picture of Cochise, paying homage to the people who lived there way before us.

This place is so embedded into my memories and into my past.

As a child it symbolised joy.  We would squeal in delight as my parents honked the horn for the 2 seconds it took to actually cross.

As a teenager it symbolised independence - cruising with friends on a Friday night with the music blaring.  We would drive in endless circles passing the tunnel at least 20 times a night.

I'll never forget the night when we packed too many people into a silver Volkswagen Beatle and almost didn't make it over to the other side.

When I moved away it symbolised the past.  The place I had grown to love but had left.  No matter how many times I left, it always welcomed me back with open arms.

When I would complain and insult the town that gave me life it never judged.  When I would leave, passing through it on my way out of town with promises of adventures not yet lived - it was always there smiling in my rear view mirror.

Until the day I returned - many years later and it was gone.  The hole had been filled and the street had been levelled.  My beloved underpass had disappeared and replaced with a modern intersection.

It was a sad realisation.  Coming back to the place I had called home for so many years - and it was no longer the same; I was not the same.

There was always this magic in my memories of the place I grew up.  A magic that I lost as I grew up and magic gave in to reality.

But in this moment, in this picture - the magic returned.  The nostalgia that comes with a life well lived.

The joy of a child's laughter.  The sarcasm in teenage angst.  The pseudo-intellect only a college student poses. The compassion of adulthood.

Is there a place that you always associate with home?

Linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out
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Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

How sad that it's no longer there. At least you have the picture. The big red barn I grew up riding horses in fell to a similar fate - what a bummer.

Emmy said...

Awe that is sad the tunnel is gone. My town has changed so much since I last lived there that it just doesn't feel as much like home anymore- even though my parents still live there.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I remember when they tore down a middle school in my old town. It just felt like they ripped apart my childhood when they did that. I like your memories of that tunnel very much!

Quiana said...

How nostalgic! When I go back to my hometown, I don't see it outright but I know my favorite mall I used to visit almost weekly after school is gone. I remembered when it had its grand opening and I thought it was the most opulent mall and that it would never go away.

Jen said...

Aw, that's sad that it isn't there anymore. I love all of those memories you have of that place at different points in your life.
Beautiful post.

Jessica said...

So funny how the memories of home are never what we remember them as when we return there.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

It is such a shame that they filled it in.

Blond Duck said...

The lake. I grew up near a lake and it's filled with joyriders...not the lake I grew up on.

Shell said...

Isn't it funny how a place can have so many memories?

Kim said...

I think it would make me sad too if it was no longer there. Our hometown has a few fry (as in french fries) trucks underneath the bridge that crosses into the states. Even though we only live an hour away, I miss getting fries under the bridge and for some reason we rarely do it.

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