Reviving Childhood Memories of Walking to School in the '60s
I'm going to give you an idea of how you can get in touch with your childhood memories while at the same time getting some walking exercise.
If you have the opportunity to go back where you grew up, take a walk through your old neighborhood. It might awaken lost childhood feelings and hidden thoughts that linger in your subconscious. It may even enlighten you to a better understanding of your life.
I'll share with you my experience and thoughts that came to my mind as I took a walk in the neighborhood where I grew up. You'll find a lot of enlightened consciousness that emerged.
Take a Walk With Me
A Walking Challenge
I'm an avid hiker and I walk 3 to 6 miles a day, so one day I remembered when I used to walk to school. My High School was only a mile from my home.
I remember that it took me 20 minutes to walk to school. Sometimes I rode the bus. Sometimes I used my bicycle. However, many times I just liked to walk to school in the morning and back home afterwards. That was about 50 years ago, and I decided to experience it again.
Down Memory Lane
I drove to my old neighborhood and parked my car by the house where I grew up. When I got out of my car, I looked at that familiar house—remembering many fond experiences as a child. Whoever lived there now continued to take great care of the property.
After taking some pictures, I started on my journey along the sidewalk—following the same path I took almost 50 years earlier.
The sights and sounds were very familiar, as if nothing had changed. The homes were he same, with manicured shrubs and lawns. The streets were lined with parked cars. There as the sound of a bus going by at times on the main road. It all was very refreshing to relive, even hearing the birds tweeting in the trees.
I felt like I was that same teenager all over again, and the years just floated away.
Life doesn't just happen to us.
We make it what it is.
My Awareness Was Awakened
I lived in a well-to-do neighborhood, but didn't have any idea of what that meant when I was a child. It became clear to me, as I walked along, that I'm grateful for the choices my parents had made.
Every single decision one makes in life has a tremendous effect on one's future, and even more so on the future of their children's lives. We tend to take this for granted.
Most of us never even consider how we got to where we are now. We never know the reason for our existence and the part we play on the lives of others and the world we live in.
A lot of thoughts came to my mind as I took that walk. I became aware of the fact that we design our own lives. Life doesn't just happen to us. We make it what it is with the choices we make, with the friends we keep, with the places we move to and live in, with the interests we develop, and with the person we choose to be with as a team partner through it all.
What We Can Learn from Trees
As I continued walking along, I noticed that the trees were much bigger than I remember.
Trees show us the power of perseverance. They grow quite a bit in 50 years. And they can survive through harsh winters and intense storms. I began to get in touch with my own endurance and determination to survive.
I took for granted the trials and tribulations I've dealt with in life. Now I suddenly realized the power that I had in me. It all became clear just by noticing those trees.
I continued walking block after block, thinking about the years that had gone by, what I accomplished and where I failed.
A mile is only about 20 city blocks. It takes about 20 minutes to walk a mile at a normal human pace of 120 steps per minute.
It dawned on me that the same applies to everything we do—or attempt to do. We take baby steps with everything we wish to accomplish. The steps add up minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, and year-by-year. We can accomplish our goal. No matter what it is, we can get things done.
Choices People Make
As I reached the halfway point, I noticed I was passing the home of a childhood girlfriend. I wondered if she were still there. I thought about what she might look like now. Would I recognize her? Would she recognize me?
How silly, I thought, to be thinking of such things. After all, 50 years had passed. Most certainly she would be long gone from that neighborhood, living somewhere else in a new life, with new friends, possibly with a family of her own.
Thinking more along those lines, I thought about other friends who once lived along the path I was walking. I was wondering:
- Where were they now?
- How had their lives changed since those high school days?
- What experiences did they have?
- What choices did they make?
- What struggles have they had?
- Did they even survive?
The Clarity of a Present State of Mind
I'm now only a few blocks away from my old school. My thoughts turned inward as I started thinking of my own life and judging my own decisions.
I suddenly realized the wisdom of my thoughts. I'm looking at my past from the present. Analyzing my prior decisions with the clarity of my present state of mind.
It came to my attention that what I had been missing all along was the idea of doing it the other way around.
All through my life I've been using my present state of mind to analyze my future plans based on the options I had along the way. I should have changed my thinking to have a different perspective.
I could have considered the future based on what I wanted to make it, without limiting myself to present options. It took me 65 years to figure that out! If you can change your thoughts, you can actually change your life!
Here I am. I made it to my old school. It looks the same. I remember those tall windows. We had long rods, with hooks at the top, to open the upper windows.
I walked around the entire school and envisioned myself entering and leaving through the large steel doors. It all looked so familiar.
If you can change your thoughts, you can change your life!
One last thing I needed to do. I had memories, good and bad, of the playground where I hung out in my teen years. I walked through the playground where so many things happened in those days. The social activities. The basketball. The fights!
Yeah, there were bullies in those days too. I wonder what happened to them. They probably got themselves killed by now.
Oh yes, the girls! Can't forget the girls. I was shy in those days, but one trick I had was making eye contact. Once I got that, the conversation started.
The Return Path Back Home
Time to head back to my car. Heading back I took a different path. I remember that I used to do that when I went to school. I used to like having a change of scenery rather than taking the same path all the time, so I would walk along different blocks.
It was still only a mile, but with different results. Hey, kind of like real life, don't you think? We can't really expect different results if we keep doing the same thing! Where have I heard that before?
I know I used to repeat things several times when I stumbled through life, hoping to find that I was right. It took years to learn how to make those stumbling blocks into stepping-stones by finding real solutions to problems.
I had a few stumbling blocks in my life, but I made them into stepping-stones.— Glenn Stok
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© 2015 Glenn Stok