Monday, January 11, 2010

The Resentment of Change

Change. I know it is inevitable. Time ticks by, things change, the world moves on. I understand that with change there is progress and without that we wouldn't live in the amazing world we live in today. But why does progress sometimes come at the cost of good? I hate change sometimes and it sickens me  to see things I love being ruined and taken away for the purpose of... nothing. This may sound trite but all I see around me sometimes is greed and money and commercialism taking over. 

When I was little we lived on a street and at one end of the street was a fence. On the other side of that fence was a big, undeveloped lot with an ancient farmhouse and cows grazing in the grass. The neighbourhood kids would walk along the top of the fence and wiggle through a loose board to romp in the huge, wildly overgrown field. It was heaven for a child. Our own kingdom, to explore and play and dream in. I still drive through that neighbourhood to look at two of the houses we lived in there and where I grew up but the farm yard is long gone. Pavement and cookie cutter houses stand in its place. 

Yesterday brought back the sadness I feel whenever I see the over developed neighbourhood of my childhood. There was this house that stood on the corner of the neighbourhood where I went to school. It stood behind huge columns of trees and an imposing gate at the front so that you could barely ever get a good look at it, but I used to babysit two doors down and would walk the kids by it whenever I got the chance. It was huge and dark and dramatic, a house out of movies rather than the bland suburban neighbourhood it stood in. I always wondered what it looked like inside. Was it bigger than it looked from outside the gate... or was it much smaller, like re-visiting a place you loved as a kid and realizing it is, in fact, tiny. Was it as grand as it looked, or just ordinary? I worshipped that house and everything it represented to me 
as a child. 

Yesterday I drove by. In the passenger seat of my mom's car, I was gazing out the window when I saw... the emptiness. It had been torn down. I gasped. It made my stomach clench in repulsion. That beautiful house gone and for what? So that, like the rest of Richmond, it can be developed into three tiny, stupid, generic townhouses cramped onto one lot. I have witnessed the constant over development and changing of my hometown with a fair amount of ambivalence up until now. I, for the most part, understand (if not embrace) change. But this was too much. This was the destruction of a dream, the tearing down of a mythical palace from a little girl's imagination. I can't truly express how much it saddened me. Why do things that are so beautiful get torn down? How can the city allow that to happen? 

Today I hate change. And the developers that will stick up those ridiculous townhouses. Shame on them. These are days when I am proud that money doesn't mean everything to me. 
Today I hate change

(Photo via Paper Tissue)

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