After being gone for 12 years, I finally made it back to my ‘home town’ of Aspen, Colorado. The first thing I heard was: ‘Oh you will find so many things have changed!’ This was true. But isn’t it always when you haven’t been somewhere for a while? Change isn’t necessarily bad.
The old town was still visible, I only had to look for it. And yes, many things had changed. The bus system took some getting used to. But I remember when I first moved there there were no busses. We had to hitchhike. I think taking a bus is better. The parks, buildings, streets, they all got an upgrade. Beautiful flowers, pretty painted shops, nice wide street walks. And clean, everything was very clean.
Did the town lose some of its charm? Sure, it did. How much fun did we have at the old Shaft, a country and western place right downtown. Where you would find horses outside patiently waiting for their owners to stumble out of the pub, to take them home. Now there are designershops where a scarf cost a fortune. It’s another way of looking at charm.
Change is nothing else but losing our perception of ‘the good old days’. ‘Cause were the ‘good old days’ always that good? Oh yes, I have very, very sweet memories of my home in the Rockies during the 80’s and ’90’s. But people living there before me tell me I never knew the ‘real’ Aspen. Which means I never knew the memories they have.
We go someplace, make our memories and leave. We can never go back to how it was. First, memories have the tendency to make things better than they were. And second, you cannot stop change. Everything is constantly changing. Thank Goodness it is. We can’t stop things from happening. No matter how much we try and want to.
Go with the flow
I was thinking about all this while I sat and looked at the river flowing by. River doesn’t fight change. It just flows. I look up at ‘my’ mountains, as people have gazed at the very same view for as long as people exist. Did those mountains change in the millions of years that sat there? Sure they did.
Good and bad
Some changes are good, some are bad. What is good for me, might not be for you. We make our own changes. Our memories and what we take with us form a place we visit forms us who we are and who we want to be. So who am I to say that changes are bad or good? For now, I was very happy to be back in my mountain town. With all its changes. Its spirit and its humor, its beauty and its heartbeat hasn’t changed for me. I was very happy and lucky to still feel at home.