When I read Humphries’ account of visiting and cycling between his father’s birthplace in Leeds and his mother’s in Liverpool, it made me think. Now, I’m not going to walk or cycle between Ottawa where my mother was born and Southampton where my father was born. But I could take a look at the house where I grew up in Saskatoon, have lunch in the park where I played as a child, and retrace the routes I took when walking to elementary and high schools.
The park is much fancier than it was when I was a child. I was so happy to see all the trees. There were none when I was a child. My old house looks very different with a new front porch and landscaping, but some of the trees are the same, including the evergreen I planted in public school. It’s so tall now!
Everything seemed smaller and the distances seemed shorter, but the different places brought back memories of people and events. I feel sorry for kids who no longer walk to school. I loved walking and visiting with my friends. We even stopped to talk to some of the neighbours, particularly one old gentleman with a wonderful garden. And I remember walking down the back alleys and picking poppies that were growing wild.