How Big Things Grow Small, Etc.

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Have you noticed? As you get older, a lot of big things get small, and small things get big.

Years, for instance. The more years you live, the smaller they get. When I was nine or ten years old, a year was an eternity. But this year, 2019, whizzed by so fast, I almost missed it.

Mr. Bruno, across the street, went spear-fishing once and brought home two enormous striped bass. They looked enormous to me! But now I realize they couldn’t have been that big, because they both fit in the kitchen sink.

It seemed a small thing, an everyday thing, to me that my father was able to keep everything around our home in good repair. Like, he just did it, no big deal. But now that I’m older than he was at the time, I can’t imagine how he did it! How did he ever manage to do all that work around the house, and still do everything else he did?

We had a lot of family Christmas get-togethers in Grandpa’s living room. When I was a boy, it seemed a very big room. Now I can’t believe we ever fit so many people into it.

The street we lived on: I was there the other day, and it seemed way too short for all those houses. I am sure it used to be much longer. That’s how I remember it.

Shoveling snow off the sidewalk: that was a little job, wasn’t it? But it isn’t anymore. Now it’s a big job.

What would it be like, if things stayed the same size for as long as we knew them?

I’ve heard there’s a place in Lintum Forest like that, but I haven’t found it yet.

7 comments on “How Big Things Grow Small, Etc.

  1. I have indeed noticed all those things, too. I remember how long a year seemed when I was a kid, and now, I swear they have done some kind of magic to make the year come and go in a heartbeat.

  2. An interesting poem to read is “Funeral” by Gordon Parks. In the poem the speaker notices all theses changes in his hometown when he or she returns for the funeral of his or her father. What’s interesting is what is said about the father. By the way, God used this particular poem as part of the healing process after my own father died.

    1. I think so, Lee. I’m not really sure but he was a published poet. When I lived in Philadelphia, I was part of a poetry group where I mostly supplied refreshments and support. I rarely read any of my poetry. The group met once a month on a Sunday afternoon and each session had a thenme. The theme of one session was reading a published poet’s work and then reading one of our own that’s similar in content or in style or…whatever. Part of the healing I received after Dad died was to write a poem giving vent to the loss I felt. Well, I read Mr. Parks’ poem first and then mine. Later, one of the poets, himself a published poet, came to me and asked me which poem was mine and which was Mr. Parks; I failed to differentiate due to “podium” nervousness. He told me that both were so good. I thanked him for the compliment.

  3. As I spend a lot of time around kids ages 9 – 18, I am amazed at how much more there is for them to learn than when I was their age. Knowledge is doubling every so many years, and genetic knowledge faster than that. I don’t have a clue how to do computer code and now it is a regular course in high school. I tease my wife when she or I have a mental block about remembering a name of something we both know by saying it is because we have so much already stored in our brains – hey, there’s nothing wrong with us old folks 🙂

  4. Interesting poem. I’ve had the same sensation. The neighborhood where I grew up seemed vast, now it seems pretty small. I don’t have the same sensation regarding the neighborhood where I spent my teens. I can only imagine that is the case because I was physically much smaller when I formed the mental impressions of the neighborhood I grew up in. I miss th wild neighborhood, but life there has deteriorated, just the same as it has everywhere else.

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