My childhood neighborhood; was one of those where everybody knew everybody and I knew these streets like the back of my hand. I knew which families lived in which houses, what time Mr. Konsol would pull in the driveway from work, what time Bob and Virginia would water their yard, these details became so known as if I would be tested on this information. Maybe that was what made it so special; it was small enough for us all to grow into a family. Our days were filled with new games, invented activities, neighborhood sports, but never boredom. It was these days that were relatively care free. The only worries were when the street lights were turning on and it was time to head home. The greatest attribute of that vicinity; had to be the woods surrounding us. We considered these trees the essence of what is was to be young. It was our get-a-way, and retreat just feet away from our homes. The majority of my memories took place within these trees. It was the place that we knew we were free to express ourselves and be whatever we wanted to be.

No one was judged; no one argued here, it was just ideal. Within these trees I received my first compliment from a boy, it was the first place I attempted to smoke a cigarette, it was where many secrets were shared and stories were told. What made it so great was how we took something so simple and refined it to be so unique, attaching experiences and memories. Now imagine the devastation when they tore down a section of the infamous woods to build condominiums. This new complex took away our trees and eliminated the safety that we found within them. Since I was too naive to respect economic growth, I handled it quite selfishly. It seemed to be that the reality of all of it sucked the imagination out of us.

Looking back now, I appreciate how we were able to take something so basic and formulate it into euphoria. Nature so effortlessly inspired us to be ourselves and taught us to appreciate the most simplistic things in life. I did not think it was possible to find that simplicity again until this semester. I have recently discovered that…“Everything worth knowing can be known within.”

Erica Kimber | Interior Design Student, College for Creative Studies