I have not lived in my home town for over 50 years. During this time, I had three different cities that were for a time my home town. However, the city of your youth and where family still lives has a special place. Most of all it resonates with memories that define a foundation of how you feel and act. With maturity comes change, but fundamentals from your original home town still influence who you are. In my case, these memories are very happy. It was a magical time in helping me develop. The 50’s and 60’s were times of fundamental change. These were times when religion, civil rights, women’s rights, were defining new paradigms.
When you allow the honesty of youth to mingle with the pragmatism of age you begin to feel and understand truth. Truth is only possible when you empathize with others. Empathy is not feeling sorry, or thinking you know how someone else feels. Empathy is your ability to stop, and see the reality of another person’s life. You understand their joy without jealously, observe their faults without judgements, envisage their demons, and feel their humanity. If you cannot empathize you cannot understand. It’s not sympathy or comparability, it is wisdom.
Each time I visit home, this becomes more impactful. Watching your loved ones grow older and seeing the changes of the city, along with what is still there; alters the prisms you use to feel truth. This time it was metanoia.