Meeting my young self in France…

6 thoughts on “Meeting my young self in France…”

  1. I so agree! The special experience of traveling with our younger selves is a particular joy and privilege of the older traveler. Coincidentally, my recent trip to Chicago provides a perfect example.

    I stayed with a friend I’ve known since high school. I love to stay with her because, having “known each other when. . .”, we help each other remember who we were and deepen our understanding of who we are now. . . and, of course, who is emerging as the inexorably older self. We have great conversations. We “talk about ideas.” We try not to judge. We support and continue doing what we can.

    And here’s another little story from that week, a moment of meeting the past: My partner Jim and I had a chance to drive past my childhood home in the suburbs. Spontaneously we decided to turn off the (now) busy highway into “my” driveway. There, hidden from the highway by overgrown bushes, was a young woman. She was hitting a hockey puck into a net on the lawn, the same lawn I used to mow as one of my weekly chores. Her father emerged from the house inquiring somewhat suspiciously in Russian-accented English who we were and what did we want. Not at all unlike what my own Germanic father would have done 60 years earlier.

    I started to explain how good it felt to see the house well-cared for. And the memories! what it meant to know they’d been preserved (not torn down and replaced by one or two McMansions, a popular trend in the area.) But that particular connection was not to be. The girl was obviously too young to be interested. And perhaps even the father’s curt response was due to his not being old enough (yet) to undertand. Perhaps if an elderly grandmother had emerged from my childhood home to listen to my story, perhaps we could have appreciated together the experience of traveling to a place where we meet the younger self.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Thanks so much for your recollections Anita. So interesting to imagine the 4 of you there — you, Jim, the girl and her father… and the thing that “age” does in offering perspective and deeper understanding toward ourselves and our history in the passage of time. xo, g. 🙂


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