Echos and Shadows

Memories (Written July 19, 2016)

Ghosts walk these halls where I used to roam,
Haunting this place I so recently called home.
All those echos of laughter and talk in the walls,
The receding sound of distant footfalls
And just over my shoulder when I look the other way
Is the shadow of a me and you who stood there yesterday.
I feel like if I just sit still and listen carefully
I’ll be returned to where I was in this place so recently.
And if everything were quiet and we were very still
I feel I’d find those bygone days were going on here still.
But then some stranger comes along as if my ghosts weren’t there
And steps loudly through those echos without a thought or care.
New voices come, with new lights, and new feet,
And they fill up all those spaces where our shadows used to meet.
A new crowd walks among these halls I used to love the most
And they carry on with their own lives, unhaunted by my ghosts.


It is scary how quickly the world will leave you behind. Things change so quickly. I am back for a few weeks at the dorm I stayed in during college. I’m here to help out with a teachers’ retreat thing that happens here during the summer. The point of the retreat is mostly just to give all the new teachers a final preparation before they start their first school year. The college hosts this because the college is actually geared towards education (though I didn’t actually take that route).

So, most of my class is here with me, in the dorm and going to classes just like we used to. It feels like we just picked up where we left off. Except…then you remember that you aren’t in your old room, because some other teacher that you don’t even know is in it…and the students who in the years beneath you and still had to graduate aren’t there…and you keep turning around expecting everything to be just like it was because it mostly feels like it is, but nothing g is the same. New people, who don’t know you and who you don’t know, are walking through the place you used to call home, making themselves comfortable where you used to lounge with your friends.

The world moves on, with or without you. It is really sad to see how quickly it happens. In the end, I suppose, that is just how little we matter. A new day come, whether you want it to or not, and it brings new things and new people to stand over where you used to be.

The lesson, I suppose, is that if you aren’t moving forward you are being left behind, because the world will not wait.


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