“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” -Thoreau
We are the disease
I was at my Grandparent’s house yesterday. They live just outside of McKinney in a somewhat rural town caught in the midst of urban expansion. It’s a nice place, my childhood swings and monkey bars are still in the back yard. A tree house still sits in the top of a huge bois d’arc tree. If you were to dig around an old sandbox you would still find the relics of a time past. But with all things, these memories are surving on numbered days. Soon to be replaced.
If you walk out the backyard there is a corn field on the other side of the fence. That field is the resting abyss of hundreds of baseballs. In a few years, it will be a suburban neighborhood. 800 houses that all look the same. No more back yard baseball games, no more driving golf balls out into stalks of corn. What is my Grandparents house will be replaced with a 6-lane road, no more watching movies in the living room, no more swimming, no more climbing trees. It will all be replaced by the human need to expand.
Expansion of what? A neighborhood of people with no back yards, who all work a 9 to 5, and drive the same cars?! A road filled with people who are late to work, late to school, and stuck in traffic?! An Applebee’s, a TGIFs, a Mall?! It’s just about the same wherever you go, it is all the same images repeated over and over and over. It is the same houses, the same stores, the same restaurants, and the same people.
Old buildings are being torn down for parking lots, hometown restaurants are being replaced by commercial ones. What was once a sprawling frontier of adventure is being paved over. And I see this, and think we are losing our very identity.