Hopscotch makes me think of Saginaw, charter buses, Mike Chenier, sleeping bags on the hard-as-rock cafeteria floor, falling asleep to the recitation of the rosary. Every steep ravine I pass while hiking in Wisconsin transports me for a fleeting moment to freshman year at Grand Valley State, my window seat beside the trees, nighttime excursions across the crunching leaves that carpeted the ravines. Narrow creeks running beneath roads and cutting through fields take me home. Watching an episode of Gilmore Girls, I might as well be back in the apartment in Steubenville, pretending to work on Methods homework with Sue and Michelle, leaving late to walk to my job at the campus library.
There are a few approaching events that have me thinking on the past. They signify the amount of time that has passed, the ways our lives have changed… Except these road markers leave me feeling behind. Not left behind, for that could imply that others are at fault, but simply behind. The sense of missing a turn somewhere along the route from past to present is my familiar companion. When I get this way, reminiscing and thinking how nice it’d be to see the faces and places I treasure from the past, I am not wishing to return to the past. I don’t want to go back. I want to reach another place, another stage or situation, which in 5 or 10 years will give me reason to again feel this nostalgia. What it comes down to is my own road markers – sparse in number, small in meaning. If I ever do have a wish to go back, it is only to repave the road since.