Sunday, October 1, 2023

Growing Up


Tiny Tim
"Where'd ya grow up?" I have been asked this question countless times during my existence. In the Northern Great Plains it is a common, yet cryptic question to recognize another person and possibly initiate a polite conversation. The subsequent response to whatever place answer is given is either, "Yup, that's a nice area." or "I've been through that area before."

While being accustomed to the colloquial dialogue, I often ponder the exact response to "growing up." October will denote twenty-seven years of residing in the geographic area known as the Red River Valley of the North. This has been and no doubt will be the geographic area where most of my life will be lived. Living in an area or measuring time does not directly correlate to growing up. I have a portion of the Peter Pan mindset, "I won't grow up!" Some of the lyrics sung by Peter Pan (played by Mary Martin) in the 1954 Broadway production, "I don't wanna go to school just to learn to be a parrot and recite silly rules...if it means I must prepare to shoulder burdens with a worried air, I'll never grow up."

In every location where I have resided or visited I have experienced something unique. Unique does not mean fun, easy, or joyful. Life experiences have been as expansive as the North Dakota prairies. The pain of personal loss (physical and emotional), as well as accompanying other people in their deep wounds broadens my outlook on the spectrum of life. Standing in the delivery room while a daughter was born, as well as in a recovery ward while a daughter regained alertness following surgery provided an 

Bradley Rose @ PSL

opportunity for internal growth. Being in the London studio for a live Peloton cycling class was amazing. The room was filled with more human energy than it was sweat induced body order. Sitting under a branch thatched shelter in the high, tropical forests of Columbia, listening to an interpreter share the perspective of the
Village in Columbia 
indigenous spiritual leader took me beyond my damp, uncomfortable surroundings to envision a completely unfamiliar way of existence. Now being in the midst of moving three miles to live in a ground level apartment for the enhancement of my spouse's mobility is both exciting and somber. 

Once again quoting Peter Pan, "I won't grow up!" If growing up means settling in and shutting off, I want no part of it. The stimulation of life experiences are both generative and exhausting. Yet, each day I awake to further my discoveries about life while hopefully being open to its unsettledness.

"Where'd ya grow up?" Everywhere I have had the opportunity!

Manitoba winter ride

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