a I trickled down the stairs with the subtle raindrops sprinking me head. My breathe fell short as I carried the last load all the way to the open mouth of our borrowed bright yellow Penske truck. With the closing of the sliding door and a lock, I hugged Dad and Uncle Daryl goodbye for the long trip home. I had finally reached the last day of my finals week and I could finally move back home.
I began my own drive home in my little blue Ford Focus (aka. Dori) and pulled out of campus, looking back at the school sign one last time for the year. The surreal feeling of leaving the place I called home for nine months sank in as I took a deep breathe and turned onto the main road. I flew through the freeways with the windows down, my “HOMEBOUND” playlist on full volume, and reflecting thoughts of a year well done.
These thoughts brought me to the question, how did I get to where I am right now? How did I meet these people? How did I get into this school? This major? These activities? This job? It was somewhere in times past that all of these decisions were made. It was somewhere in the memories that God was shaping me into the life and the person that I am today.
As I got closer and closer to home, I played the sweet sounds of nostalgic songs. Songs of childhood, songs of family, songs of growing up. These were the songs that reminded me where I had been. Suddenly my heart longed to turn my car down the roads I used to drive.
I drove to the waterpark I worked at before taking off for college. The place the guards and I jumped in the water on safety breaks and I flew like the wind to conquer my very first emergency. Not too far from there, I circled my high school, where I walked to school from the so called “loser lot” through snow, rain, or shine. The football stadium where my colorguard team and I prepared behind the bleachers for every half time show. The band room where I made Mr.P laugh every time I missed my solo. The library where I stayed after school preparing for AP tests and the big ACT. And the special hallway where I was asked to prom by a dear friend.
Further down the road, I drove slowly by my old middle school, where I worked my first job as a swimming instructor and fell in love with making kids laugh. The tennis courts, where we hit just hard enough to get the tennis balls stuck to the fence in the shape of a smiley face 🙂 The locker bay, where my best friend and I snuck in before school and I trapped her in. Homeroom, where I was first asked to be someone’s girlfriend and started a wave of 6th grade gossip.
I drove past my home daycare, where I ate breakfast in the company of two slobbering dogs and walked to school on the neighborhood sidewalk every morning. I drove the road that I used to safety patrol while skipping some of my 5th grade school day to walk the kindergardeners home safely and hold up my professional crossing flag. I drove the street of my preschool day care, where I watched “Dragon Tails”, “Arthur”, or “The Telletubbies” before walking out to my first bus ride. The place where we sledded down the hills on spinning socers every winter, and sang beneath a parachute at the backyard carnival every summer.
I pulled around the playground of my elementary school, where I celebrated track and field day every spring and circled the soccer field talking about life with friends every recess. The front doors, where Dad brought my dog to school for show and tell. And lastly the front sidewalk where Dad would pick me up after every school day and ask me how the day was as we rocked out to ABBA or Alabama.
As I neared home, I drove past my street and couldn’t help but go a little farther to the downtown of my town where dad took me to a diffrent park to play everyday after school. He would push me on the swings and chase me through the tunnels… if he didn’t get stuck first 🙂 I drove past the local farms, where I took photoshoots for my high school photography class. The McDonald’s I drove to after my all night high school graduation lock in, and ordered breakfast at 6:30am. The main street, where we attended the local farmers market and admired the classics of the annual car show.
At last, I pulled into my driveway, parked, and turned the key out as the engine calmed. I pushed the radio button off with a click and unclasped my seatbelt. With a breathe I stared into my daydream with the thought, “man, the 2000’s were quite a time”.
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog-it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that”
~James 4: 14-16
So my dear reader, as this well runs dry for today, I must ask you this: How often do you take the time to look at the moments that shaped you? How do you let them shape your present?
Sing a song for the soul: Oh How The Years Go By- Amy Grant