I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting a little older, but I’ve been finding that I’m getting more nostalgic with each passing year. Just last weekend I visited some friends in New Paltz, the town in which I went to college and spent nearly ten years of my life. It was a bittersweet and complicated time in my life, yet I find that the years have worn away at dark memories like slowly peeling paint, exposing the underlying tenderness to the warm rays of the spring sun. I wandered through the streets, meandering through memories, followed by ghosts of my former self.
This weekend I am in Buffalo, visiting with family and friends, and celebrating Dyngus Day (the Polish celebration the day after Easter) along with my birthday. I also find myself remembering the sweet, vulnerable girl that I was when I lived here twenty years ago. It’s funny when I think back on that time; I remember that there were many things that I liked, and many things that I found frustrating. One of the things that I found most frustrating about living in Buffalo was the amount of pavement and concrete, and the corresponding lack of nature. Let’s face it, I’m not really a city girl (although I can enjoy it). But, just as I did back then, I find myself seeking out beauty wherever I can find it.
Today we went to Niagara Falls. Even though I’ve been there numerous times, I am always amazed by the endless rush of water cascading over the rocks, and the shear force and power of it all. I found myself imagining what it all looked like before the highways and casinos and hotels were built, and wondered who was the very first human to ever lay eyes on it. Can you imagine what he or she must have thought? Probably something similar to what I felt today – awe, wonder, and amazement at this magnificent world we live in.