Morning Pages: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

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By Karen Y. Hamilton, October 8, 2017

The moon is up there in a mostly cloudless sky and I can’t resist the pull to put pen to paper. Yesterday was interesting. I am still surprised (dare I say saddened) at some of the comments garnered on my post to a local thread expressing my feelings about the latest construction at my favorite place, the Jupiter Inlet. While I try, for the most part, to respect other’s opinions, I will admit that this turn of events got to me, reached right into my peaceful place and pushed that big red alert button.

The thread began as a simple lament on letting go (dear God, here we go again with the ‘let it go’ theme!). Watching concrete poured onto the dirt paths of this peaceful place got to me, tugged at my heart and soul in a way that only those who have followed me this last year would understand. It was just another loss for me, another moving on in a world that already moves too fast.

I agree the change is good for those who are handicapped or elderly. Cement paths are easier and safer for them to navigate. I thank those on that post who pointed that out. This eases my pain somewhat. But I can’t help but wonder how much change can we make to Mother Nature? How many ‘improvements’ must we make to force her to conform to our needs and wants? Do we continue to force her to conform to our needs until there is no nature left at all?

Joni Mitchell resounds in my head. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” There is nothing I can do about it. The powers that be win over we nature loving peace ‘freaks’ every time.

Still. Not angry. Not ‘complaining.’ I am, as I said in my post, “not happy.” Meaning sad. Disappointed. Shall I digress into a linguistics lesson here? Look up the etymologies of ‘complain’ and ‘sad’? It is tempting but I won’t bore you with it. Say thank you!

Here is what I will complain about. People who feel they have the right to tell me how I feel or what I think. No one has that right. Not one person out there is allowed to tell me to feel happy or feel sad, to love or to hate. No one. My choice, not yours.

I am one of those people who needs to explore and disseminate information and it is always helpful to have my fellow man enter into a discussion with me about whatever issue. I do not require you to agree with me. I welcome the chance to have you change my mind. But do not for a moment think I will allow you to TELL me what I feel or think and expect me to fall at your feet (bend the knee) and thank you for your wisdom.

Progress in the form of pavement has come to my peaceful place. I accept that. As with the loss of anything we love, we mourn that loss. We are ‘not happy.’ And at 55, I am beginning to find more and more opportunities to practice ‘letting it go.’ This too I will let go now. Just know that I do not intend to keep quiet so that negative people can attack me. And I do not intend to stop lamenting the loss of my hometown as I knew it.

Blame it on age if you want. The memories of the old Jupiter live on in my mind and I have no intentions of ‘letting it go.’

About Karen Y. Hamilton

Walt Whitman says about his autobiography, Specimen Days “…At any rate I obey my happy hour’s command, which seems curiously imperative. May-be, if don’t do anything else, I shall send out the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed.” This is what I feel at this juncture of my life, the need to gather together memories of my ancestors as well as my own memories into some semblance of order. Because all of those fragments, all of the fragments that make up any life, become stories. I am the mother of three sons, who affectionately (I hope!) call me 'gypsy mom' because I tend to wander around a bit soaking in the universe's wonders. I am currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. I have published essays with Heritage Press, Florida Living, and the St. Pauls Review. I am currently working on a book of poems about the Florida Everglades pioneers and a memoir about grief and the bonds of friendship. I live in my hometown, Jupiter, Florida and work as a freelance writer and curriculum specialist.
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