today i found a bit of my heart.

i didn’t realize that i had left it anywhere. i thought i had all of me. but i found one little piece hidden away as i visited my old stomping grounds.

it had been years since i’ve been back. i kinda thought i forgot about it–that it was all left behind. i mean, now and then i think of the people i met while there, and wonder how they’re doing. but i really thought it was in my past–that i possibly could not have any more feelings for the place.

i was wrong.

i walked with my son, showing him all the places i used to hang out, explaining how this part still looks the same, but this part was totally changed. i marveled at how big the trees now were, and how bright the paint seemed. i checked out the new sections and reminisced at the old sections. then as his class started, i dropped him off, and went on alone, reliving old memories.

voices were all around me–joyous chatters, angry scoldings, loving whispers, frustrated sighs. i saw a much younger me. i was so different then–so confident, yet so young and so naive. i also saw the crowd i used to hang with and smiled at the many antics we got into. my smile disappeared thpugh as i remembered one person, and i just couldn’t stop the tears from falling. although i was happy, the tears streamed down my face as i realized that this person was now gone. i remembered all our walks, all our talks, all our consoling of each other’s heartbreaks. i’d try to stop the tears by remembering happier times, but they all led back to the sad ones. i briskly walked back to the car and shut myself in, desperate to put on a brave front, to lock out all the sad memories. it of course did not work, and i slumped in my seat as the tears flowed. i looked up at the huge tree i was parked under and remembered us all sitting under there, singing to the ‘ukulele that was being played somewhere, and how we’d do impromptu dances. it brought back the smile. and the fear, as i remembered the HUGE centipedes that would be found there! i shrieked and started up the car to move it to another spot.

for the next hour, i would go from high to low, happy to sad, excited to depressed. i thought of how much i have changed since then–not only am i older, but i’m more–hmm. i wouldn’t say wiser, but more wearied, i guess. more of a realist. more aware of how the world runs and how it’s not all in my hands any more, as i used to think. i remembered the spot i stood in when i announced my good news. and i also remember where i was standing when i announced what i thought would be good news, but actually turned out to be something i truly regret doing. i remembered the songs. i remembered the dances. i remembered the lectures. i remembered the people.

as i drove back home, i felt its pull on me. it was then i realized that a piece of my heart is still there–it belongs there, and it will remain there no matter how long away my next visit will be. i just never realized that it was there, and this time, i hope i never forget.


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