I am reacquainting with the land of my birth.
At first the brightness is a bit much for me.
I squint like a subterranean mammal.
My sunglasses aren’t even enough.
Later, up on the trails of Griffith Park
I am astounded by the view.
I can see the ocean.
Growing up in the suburbs I never really knew this city.
It was just the city to drive through, catch a plane or to make short, infrequent forays into.
I once was intimidated by its size.
Now, I want to explore its streets and neighborhoods.
I want to find where my parents grew up.
Where is that hill my grandmother described to me where she lived? The one the heavy doctor couldn’t make it up to deliver her first child?
Where did my mother catch the streetcar to take her to work everyday during World War II?
Where did my father first learn to drive? The office he worked in where he fell in love with my mother?
The biggest change I notice since I grew up and went away is how clear the air is.
I remember smog alert days at school with achy lungs, stingy eyes and staying inside to play.
The destruction of man subsides and the earth renews itself.
Coming and going over the years, change is the constant.
There is always movement in some direction.
I think of the earth again, spinning on its journey around a sun that is on a journey of its own.
I miss, I mourn what I have lost, what I have missed.
The children growing, they don’t always remember who I am.
The years the dear ones aged and died.
I was never enough by their side.
Accepting my limitation is the challenge.
I will never do and be all that I hope.
I must learn to be content with the confines of one human life.
© 2010 Julie Clark