I want to go back.
I miss the cool, late summer nights of my early teen years in Virginia, lying in bed, the only light coming from the pilot lamp of my old Emerson Ingraham radio. It had been my father’s radio when he was a boy. Now it sat on a crude wooden table beside my alarm clock, bringing in voices from places like Wheeling, West Virginia, Cleveland, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Indiana. To a young boy who had never traveled anywhere, those places were as exotic and exciting as foreign countries.
I want to return to those long summer days spent conquering the tulip poplar trees in the yard, building hideouts in the forest behind our house, drinking from the garden hose.
I want to go back to cool autumn days when my sole priority was building ever higher piles of raked leaves to jump into. In those days, 25 feet of nylon rope became the tool facilitating a thousand imagined rescues, and my bicycle was the vehicle that carried me on countess open-ended voyages of exploration.
I want to go back to a time before cellular phones, when walking out of your house made you absolutely unreachable until such time as you chose to be reachable once again. It was actually a lot more fun to talk with friends on the phone then, because the phone wasn’t omnipresent.
I want to go back to all the firsts: the first time I drove a car, the first time I saw the ocean, the first time I kissed a girl, the first time I slept in a tent, the first time I flew a plane, the first time I took a trip to a distant city.
I want to go back to a time when my mind had more questions than answers, when the world was a cornucopia of new things to discover and experience.
Growing up is overrated.