Then and Now This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 29, 2012
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
My sister and I could never get along. My parents, just like everyone’s parents, would force us to share in hope that our behavior would change and I never liked to be forced to change. My parents would take my little sister and me on “adventures”; however, their definition of adventure was something unadventurous. It was usually a bike ride down the street and to the Wolf River where there was two miles of paved sidewalk that meandered in and out of the woods. Sometimes we fed the ducks. Sometimes we stopped and admired the “cleanest outdoor bathrooms” as my dad called it. Sometimes we got there and turned around. Each outing was less than an hour and I hated each one we went on but there is one I have always remembered.

One time as a family we rode our bikes to the far end of the lake. I noticed a sidewalk that went directly into where the woods never seemed to end. We didn’t get far before the nice tamed sidewalk turned into dirt and underbrush with a narrow trail slicing the wilderness in half. I begged them to keep going but they wouldn’t let me explore this new, uncharted, wild path. Disappointed, I traveled home on my little bike with my little sister and my parents and a sense of true adventure that was passed by.

But that was years ago. That was when my sister and I hated each other. That was before I learned middle C on the piano. That was before I could run a 9 minute mile. That was before my first kiss or my induction into seventh grade. When my grandfather was alive and when I thought that things never changed.

But things do change because this is now. Now my sister and I have naturally grown close. Now she is one of my best friends and everyone at school knows it and admires it. Now I can play anything I want on the piano. Now I am one of the fastest distance runners in the school. I have had my first kiss. I am about to graduate to twelfth grade. Both of my grandfathers have passed away and a man I consider to be a grandfather is sick in the hospital, and I know now how even my immortal trail in the woods by the lake has to change.

In January of 2011, I ventured back to the same trail but this time I ran there by myself. I remember pausing in an instant of nostalgia and then continuing on into that great unknown. What I saw as I ran through the trees exceeded all of the things I had imagined through the years. I spent hours running around and exploring and I frequently came back to explore some more. One of my expeditions even earned me a scar on my knee that looks like a surgical scar. My dad hates my scar and thinks it looks bad but it has always been something of a trophy to me. I was changing my new, uncharted, wild trail into something familiar, explored, and domesticated.

In May of 2011, I was running along that trail as the trees suddenly disappeared and I found myself standing on the edge of a construction site. My trail was destroyed because someone was building a road. Slicing the wilderness in half. Denying true adventure. Changing my familiar, explored, domesticated trail into a new, premeditated, artificial roadway.

I continued my adventure down that long deforested area. I thought of how I should represent all the disappointment I was feeling. Maybe I could vandalize a bulldozer. Perhaps I could start a petition. Or I could just sit down right in the way of all those heartless machines bent on progress. I knew it was dumb to think that anything I could do would force people to change like my parents used to do with my sister and me. I didn’t like the change but it had to happen because nothing stays the same. Even the new asphalt on the street and the concrete on the sidewalk will get cracks and grow weeds. Everything is busy living, dying, moving, or falling apart but never staying still. But that’s a good thing. If things never changed life would be boring. Even if change is not always fun, it is always a true adventure.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback