A little nook of Los Angeles is very special to me and my inner circle. On a single Westside street:
- my sister and I lived for five years before I got married, with cherished walks and meals at nearby neighborhood cafes;
- my husband proposed to me at a restaurant a few blocks down the same street, near another restaurant where we dated early on;
- my sister and I for years went to our longtime doctor at the medical center around the corner…
.…where my sister just gave birth to her daughter this past weekend.
Now my husband and I live in San Diego, but we had to drive up to LA to meet our new niece, and have our daughters meet their new little cousin — in our old stomping ground, no less.
When we got there, a barrage of memories overflowed, seeing all the familiar places — where I wrote some of my favorite scripts, went out on memorable dates, shared heart to heart talks with family and friends — or as my dad would say, ‘scenes of former triumph.’
On this day there truly was a new birth, a new triumph. Seeing my sister and brother in law with my new niece was beyond precious — something we will never forget.
And never did I think, 15 years ago, that I would one day come back to the old ‘hood with my children and husband, telling the girls statements like this:
- “This building is where your aunt and I used to live. That balcony, up there!”
- “This is where Daddy asked me to marry him – on that outdoor patio right there!”
- “This restaurant is where Daddy took me for our second date…”
- “And this is where your aunt and I used to eat all the time!” now sharing a meal with the family at the same table we always requested. And of course…
- “This is where your baby cousin was born today!”
Last week I blogged about going to the places which give us inspiration to write or live more freely and fruitfully (See “Go There”). And sure enough, I found myself back at yet another place that has held so many memories and milestones for me and for those I love.
But going ‘back’ to such places also has to involve creating NEW memories there, scenes of new triumph, whether with old or new faces. Inevitably, some things will be changed when we revisit (where the heck did Jerry’s Deli go??) and some things will remain the same.
Either way, however, what’s worth noting (and writing about) is that WE have changed, we have become something else, something more, since last being ‘there.’ And we have to keep becoming, keep evolving, into who we were meant to be, no matter where we plant ourselves.
P.S. My book BRAVURA comes out on Kindle this Wednesday – the first in the “The Music We Made” series about a group of classical musicians in 1960’s London. You can order it here.