Time, time, time...is on my side

I decided to take a walk today through an area of woods and marsh that I often traversed as a boy. I wandered the pathways and crossed over the river walking through places that once captivated the time and imagination of many young boys. As is often the case, things appeared much smaller than what memory captured. I walked out upon an area encapsulated by river on the one side and bordered by a canal on the other. These stairs (pictured above) come out of the ground and they stand there encircled by a few apple trees that are now close to being dead. Although untended or pruned for several generations, the trees once grew wormy green and red apples that fed birds and deer while providing boyhood friends with playful ammunition to throw at one another.
The hurricane of 1938 devastated much of this area with flooding and downed trees. The remnants of factory foundations can still be seen among the overgrown weeds and trees. It is now a part of a large flood management area with dams that control the waters of many streams, rivers and tributaries. The stairs with the surrounding apple trees have led me to believe that perhaps this was this areas only residence in and among the river side factory.
I don't know why but this area has taken up space in many of my dreams as of late. Perhaps it hearkens back to a time of carefree innocence or a coming of age. The stories that I could tell!
We used to catch turtles and toads in abundance here. At age five someone showed me how to smoke a cigarette while hiding in the large drain pipe that led from a canal to a foundation floor. We used to ride with the older boys when they drove their cars down the little tarred eighth of a mile track while reaching speeds of fifty and sixty mph. We took out a few rows of trees on more than several occasions. We challenged each other through a dangerous mid-winter's trek across the frozen moors. On Fornier's hill I hit a tree while sledding and awoke just in time to see the sled come down the hill backwards: stabbing me deep in the thigh with its blunted runner. And my neighbor Wayne broke his leg in three places skiing down the same hill. Some neighborhood boys took the liberty of peeing in me and my brother's new baseball caps here. We smoked pot here. Drank beer here. Attempted to undress girls here. Hunted here.
And I am struck by the passage of time. Of how any meaning is stripped away from our having been there. Away from those that were there before us. And before that. It was once an area where many Indian tribes walked.
What does it all mean?


Sophia said…
Goodness; if only your mother knew what you were up to there! ;)

What is it about remote places that makes kids want to light up a smoke? When I was a kid, there was a small woods across the street from our house. A neighbor girl and I went there and rolled up some leaves and grass in a piece of paper and lit it with a lighter, trying to smoke it.

Oh memories!
baroness radon said…
Nice post, I can feel your nostalgia. Nice that you can revisit the sites...most of the spots of my own youth are paved over and redeveloped.

Still have the memories. That's what it means.

Also nice, the new self-portrait!