The Familiar I Almost Forgot

Spring Break 2023, I got the opportunity to take a walk in what I affectionately call ‘ my old stomping ground’. I don’t do much walking where I currently live. We drive everywhere. I forgot how much I loved walking around big cities. There’s something about walking that gets the adrenaline flowing as you get caught up in the hustle and bustle. The crisp cold air that wakes up every part of your body —that had become part of me for nearly two decades. I almost forgot what that felt like.

How quickly we can forget! This spot brings back memories of summers when different artists would play music from a variety of genres in front of the Twin Towers. The days I would visit the 23rd floor to hang out. Those days are gone. The names imprinted on that memorial pool behind me – represents those who are no longer with us. Some had walked those streets for the last time on 9-11-2001. I still get to do this 22 years later. I don’t ever take that for granted. I am still in awe of those high-rise buildings that tower over us mere humans. Having worked in a few of them, the view can be stunning especially at nights. I almost forgot how they make you feel.

I felt lost for a minute as I tried to remember some of my favorite spots —and then it all came back. These were the streets where I laughed a lot —shed some tears too. Met and gallivanted with people from almost every continent. The city that gave me a love for culture and the beauty that can be found in humanity. This is a city where I saw a lot of suffering too. The place where I learned that life offers an interesting mix of pain and pleasure. You get to decide how you respond. You can decide to be cold and unfriendly —guarding your heart. Or take the plunge and risk it. Risk getting disappointed, hurt or pleasantly surprised. Just maybe you’ll find an amazing friend on the other side of the street. I chose the latter most times. I found some amazing souls to bond with. No regrets!

I spent quite a bit of money on these streets back in the days. She knows how to wine and dine you. If you are not careful, she leaves you broke and still wanting more. She captivates you every time. As often as you swear to leave her alone, she beckons you back with all her sights, sounds and aroma. In this city there’s always a sale or a window display that calls out to you. This lady has no shame. She will trap you with all her niceties, flavors and flair. You run away sometimes, as she can be a bit overwhelming. For some reason, she always gets you come back to visit. The truth is, you either love her or hate her —no in between.

I leave for a while, but ever so often she draws me back. How I love her—let me count the ways. Under her shadow is where God refined me and prepared me to fight giants. I got introduced to the art of warfare traversing her streets. I became a woman of depth and substance here. Life threw some curveballs, I had to position my self to hit with precision. For sure I missed many. Here I learned to show up despite my imperfections. The flawed me came to know peace in the arms of a perfectly loving Father. This city was indeed my classroom for years. Lessons well learned and will never be forgotten. She holds a special place in my heart. There are still many things I dislike about her, but as with many love affairs the good outweighs the bad. And so, we keep loving.

*** Thanks for reading- May you never abandon those places that helped to make you who you are today. And the God who walked you through.

Published by Restored Heart

An educator, author, a mom, friend, and a girl who loves that Her heavenly Father loves doing life with her. Passionate about introducing others to the Christ who heals hearts among other things....

10 thoughts on “The Familiar I Almost Forgot

  1. I love the way you talked about NYC as if she were a living being. You captured her essence well! I’ve only been to NYC once for two one-week conferences, back-to-back. We squeezed in sight-seeing as we could. One day on the bus I was struck by how many nationalities were represented among the passengers, indicated by color of skin, hair styles, clothing, etc. I loved the cosmopolitan flavor of a city inhabited by people from so many different cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

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