The noted philosopher, Toby Keith, said it with a twist: The less things change, the more they never seem the same”.
It was time to immerse in the memories of hometowns gone by this past weekend. Hometowns, homerooms, and the relationships that went along for the ride.
I was discussing it all with one of my few active ongoing relationships to come from this hometown of days gone by, and how so much seems so different.
As we stood at the base of a large group of pine trees pointing skyward, I noted how those trees seemed to have been as large then as they are today. His reply? “I think they don’t ever stop growing”. Touché.
We returned to his home a few short hours later, and the story charicatured above captured my attention. It was printed on a byproduct of trees that indeed have stopped growing, as has the industry this “newspaper” represents. I don’t digress: it has to do with the more things change.
Which brings me back to our reason for being back in this former home gone by: relationships.
When you’ve not seen someone in 30 odd years, it is amazing how much things change. It’s equally amazing how much of your respective later lives can seem the same. I spent an extra couple of hours on the trip visiting one on one with an old friend, and the similarity of life experiences was strangely familiar.
We both married our spouses two weeks apart in date. We both had oldest daughters a couple of years later. We both have twins, one boy, and one girl. We both know the pain of an earthly father’s battle with cancer.
Another noted philosopher, Jon Bon Jovi, crooned these emotions just so:
Ah, is it just me or does anybody see – The new improved tomorrow isn’t what it used to be – Yesterday keeps comin’ ’round, it’s just reality – It’s the same song with a different melody …
My old friend reminded me, however, the artist from days gone by to indeed quote is John Waite (former lead singer of “The Babies”):
We always wish for money – We always wish for fame – We think we have the answers – Some things ain’t ever gonna change
It doesn’t matter who you are – It’s all the same (change) – What’s in your heart will never change
It’s only change
It doesn’t matter who you are – It’s all the same.
Just like those majestic pine trees, we’ve kept growing, and the more things have changed, the more they indeed seem the same.