Last weekend while catching up on some blog reading, I came across a post wondering about what it would be like if your hometown ceased to exist. It turns out there was a town in the Northwest Territories called Pine Point, and it literally has been erased from the face of the earth. You can see the very moving documentary here.
I watched the documentary, and honestly, I cried. I’ve been thinking about it all week. Of course, my hometown is alive and well. In fact, I almost have more than one hometown as I am from an area where many small towns are so close together that you live in one and go to school in another. I have several repositories of memories, so to speak.
I think the reason the documentary seemed so powerful to me is because the place my husband grew up no longer exists either. It hasn’t been razed to the ground and filled in, but I’ve seen photos and most of it has been dismantled and carried off almost brick by brick. To make matters a little more difficult, it’s in another country. We carry around boxes that the movers aren’t ever allowed to touch, filled with childhood mementos… slides, photos, videos. I once insensitively griped about the room taken up by all of them in a closet, until he reminded me, “Look, that IS my childhood, it’s not like I can go back and reminisce. It’s all I have left.” Ouch.
I’m similar to the makers of the documentary in that although I have never been there, I am endlessly fascinated by it. I enjoy going to reunions, often because I can finally put a face to an often told story. I told dh about the documentary, and that I thought someone should make a website dedicated to their town, too. They have books of stories, hold reunions and try to remind each other of the memories they share, but it’s all so fragmented.
Nothing ever stays the same, and goodness knows my hometown has changed a lot. But much of it has stayed constant. I mean, my dad still lives in the house I grew up in. It’s good to remember to be grateful for that.