Our family lives in a neighborhood that was built at the turn of the last century. Before that, this would have been the farms and orchards just outside of town. And before the farms, there were the First Nation people whose relics still lie in fragments in the soil under our sidewalks and lawns. These houses and the people who live in them, are all living their lives in the very places where so many have lived before them. I wonder what connection there may be to these previous personal stories?
We have the notion of ghosts, who for some reason are unable to move on to the after life and decide to linger within the house they once called home - before their physical death. But what about all those layers of lives and story that predate us? Are there parallels between our lives and theirs? How much do these physical structures and their previous histories, have some influence on our lives and to what extent? Does our ignorance of these specific local histories cut us off from a more meaningful connection - not only to our homes but to who we are?
I ask these questions of myself in the place where our family lives - on busy Fuller street, Grand Rapids Michigan, in the late Fall of 2013, in a house built in 1910. Deep down I want a better connection with the place and the people where we live. I want to know more of it's history and I want more meaningful connections with the people who live in the houses around me right now.