Even though I was only nine years old when I heard this song on my mom’s radio, it still touched my soul. This was because I had been sent from my home in the town of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta to a school for blind children in the metropolis of Vancouver B.C.
In this song, the person left the familiarity of the small town for the money and excitement of the big city. Like many people, the grass seemed greener on the far side of the fence.
When the protagonist returned to that once-small town, it had become acres of tar and cement. Gone were the lilacs which perfumed the air. Gone was the child-like joy of running through the grass and enjoying merely being alive.
Fort Saskatchewan is now a city. Where a farmer’s field and the town dump used to be is now a conglomeration of big box stores. And half of the forest at the creek where I used to play has become a parking lot for fast food joints and industries.
Even the vibrant downtown has been subdued because of big box stores siphoning off customers. And the Fort Hotel, one of my favourite landmarks, burned to the ground back in 2010.
As I’ve pointed out before, we can’t relive the past. So what can we do? Follow the Apostle Paul’s example. Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV)reads, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”