I have lived on the same street for over 20 years. I grew up in my mother’s house, and when it was time to move out, my husband and I moved into the house right next door to my mom.
It is safe to say that I don’t like change. I don’t really believe anyone does. Living here has provided me with stability. Living on this road for my entire life has enabled me to witness subtle changes in myself and my surrounding. There are only a few things in life that remain constant, and I am grateful my physical surroundings haven’t changed more than they have to.
When I was younger, about eight or nine, I made a friend during the summer. His name was, wait for it…wait for it…Lame. I am not joking. I always wonder if I misheard his name, but was never corrected when I called him that. I am almost positive now that his name was Liam.
Anyway, when you are younger, you have no real concept of street names or house numbers. All you know is that your friend lives in the blue house with the pretty flower pots. I identified Lame’s house by a very tall crooked tree coniferous tree that grew in his front yard. Well, the front yard wasn’t his: the front yard belonged to his aunt and uncle. Lame was spending the summer with them. We played all summer long. We rode our bikes, went to the park, played imaginary games. It was awesome.
One day I rode my bike past the park, across the street, and up the road. I was on the look out for the 25-foot tall crooked evergreen tree. Once I spotted it, I rode up the lawn and walked my bike up to the front step. I put the kick-stand on my bike down. As I knocked on the door I wondered what our next adventure would be. Maybe today we would take a bike ride all the way to the leisure centre! The door opened and a woman I had never seen before said Lame had gone home and wouldn’t be coming back. I had never felt so crushed.
From that day on, every time I saw that tree I was filled with disappointment and dismay. I could see the tree from my mom’s bedroom that was located on the top floor at the back of our house. I would look out at the peculiar looking tree and wonder what happened to my friend. I would wonder why he didn’t tell me he was leaving. I would wonder if he even knew he was leaving. As kids, we don’t really know anything. In the summer, we live every day without a thought about next month or next year. Our only job is to have fun.
I can still see the tree from my bedroom window. It is unrecognizable more than a decade later. It is not bent as it once was. Even so, there are times that I wake up in the morning and look past the park, across the street, and up the road, and think about my friend.