Aug 5, 2006

magnified in memory

I'm sure it's been said before--and, perhaps, more eloquently--but child eyes see the world as larger than it is. After a tour of the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology, and side trips to Horseshoe Canyon, a swinging bridge, and the Handhills, my sister and brother-in-law, my wife, my old friend Ryan, and I returned to Hanna, first to have our picture taken by the "Proud to be the Home of Nickelback" sign, and then to see the landmarks of nostalgia.

Famous statuary geese (I almost wrote "gooses," and then "geeses") welcome visitors to the farming community. My sister was so sure that they were gigantic and imposing and fierce that she initially refused to believe they were the "real" ones--but they were. (I'll have a photo up as soon as I can.) Then, when we drove over to the neighborhood where we lived for a few years, a suburb frozen in 1976, I was amazed to discover that it was just six blocks or so from Ryan's place. When I was a kindergartener, it was all the way across town, a mythic, even Homeric distance.

Seeing the old haunts brought back fond memories: once, when Ryan and I (and maybe my younger brother) were yelled at for hurling snowballs at cars, and another time, when I won my first and only fight by bashing a neighborhood bully with a plastic garbage can lid.

What exists only in my memory: the elementary school, the skate pond that froze every winter, the nauseating merry-go-round at a city park, and, mostly, the largeness of the world.

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