Friday, October 01, 2010

1938: The Things We Miss

Note: This is a post I started in May of 2008 but never finished. I found it this morning when I was looking for a draft of my next Friday 80s Flashback. It is one of several posts just sitting in an electronic abyss. Over the next week or two, I will try to complete as many as I can.

On a Saturday morning in May of 2008, I arose early to drive my Forester to the Subaru dealer. It's a pretty short drive; the dealership is just beyond my town's borders. I typically take advantage of their shuttle service -- I drop off the car, they take me back home, they call me with details regarding my vehicle's service, and finally they pick me up after they finish the job -- But the shuttle is not available on weekends.

No worries. As I mentioned, it's a short drive. So I figured walking back and forth wouldn't be all that difficult. Besides, I lucked out with a glorious, Spring day. Perfect for walking. So, after I dropped off the car, I made my way home from the dealership.

My pace was slow, almost meandering. I had the whole day before me with no need to race home. I listened to birds. I took in the gentle breeze. I paid attention to homes and yards that would normally fall away in my peripheral vision as I focused on the road ahead.

And then I came to a full stop when I saw this in the concrete walk (also available on my Flickr page):

To be completely accurate, I would have to post the image upside down. But that's not the point.

I was completely enamored with this small token in concrete. What did that symbol mean? What happened in 1938? How are the symbol and this date connected? It took all my self-control to not walk up to the house connected to this walk, knock on the door, and ask if anyone there knew what the message of their front walk was. After all, it was kind of early for someone to receive such questions from a complete stranger.

I might never know concretely the message of  this sidewalk. But here is something I do know: I had been driving past this parchment-in-pavement for several years and never once had any inkling that it was there, that it was waiting for a brief moment of discovery.

What else am I missing -- are we all missing -- as we rush about in our machines with our to-lists, schedules, and agendas?

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