The first picture in the header of this post is my Colorado backyard in 2007. I absolutely loved that backyard growing up. I loved watching the sun set behind Longs Peak, I loved feeding the horses carrots by the fence, I loved watching the prairie dogs keep guard of their holes, and I loved listening to the coyotes howl as I went to sleep.
I have a lot of memories from the Starbucks on Hamilton in Spokane. Filling out an application for the first real job I ever got, conversations about life and spirituality with my friend Tyler, studying for finals with my buddy Max, healing relationship conversations with a friend over pumpkin spice lattes, grabbing caffeine with new friends before a mission trip, Frappy Hour joy at Easter, getting coffee with my dad before heading to Portland for a new life adventure, nervous anticipation with friends before climbing Mt Adams, talking about forgiveness with my friend Dave, becoming a familiar friend to baristas, writing countless papers, writing countless blog posts … and the list goes on.
The second picture in the header of this post is a picture of my backyard in Colorado that I took a few days ago. The beautiful cottonwood tree is gone, and our open space is now a housing development. No horses, no prairie dogs, no coyotes, barely even a view of the mountains.
Today I rolled up to the Starbucks on Hamilton and there was a sign posted on the door: “This Starbucks will be closing on December 30th, 2017”. Since December 30th was yesterday, I drove about 3 blocks down the road to the next Starbucks. It’s a new Starbucks that they built about six months ago. It has loud music, uncomfortable furniture, and robotic-looking baristas with headsets on. My cup of water has a printed label on it that says “Item 1 of 1, Items in order 1, Gr Cup of Water, Time 9:49:31AM, Reg: 1, CAFE”. No one greeted me by name when I walked in, and no one even asked for my name. I’m also currently being blinded by the sun reflecting off the floor into my eyes.
One of the strongest impulses I find myself fighting day to day is the temptation to say “back in my day …”. As if to say that someone else’s present will never be as good as my past! I hate how much I hate change!
I’m listening to a Lupe Fiasco song right now called Old School Love. In the first verse he raps about a realization he has when talking to a young kid. It’s been a particularly crime-ridden summer in Chicago and the kid he’s talking to tells him that it feels like there’s no rules in the city. Lupe is about to say something to the kid but then he pauses and flashes back to the 80s and 90s when the state of rap in Chicago was so much more innocent and care free. It’s at this moment he realizes that someday this kid is going to grow up and only have the current environment of Chicago to look back on. ’03 might have been the future for him when he was a kid, but it’ll be this kids past. After describing this moment, Ed Sheeran sings the hook “As long as I’m here, as long as you love me, give me that old school love right now”.
When I was back in Colorado for Christmas it made me sad staring out into our backyard reflecting on memories that can’t be duplicated. Sitting in the new Spokane Starbucks, I can’t help but wish I was three blocks down the road, remembering the memories I had with friends. It would be easy for me to say “back in my day …”, but I’m not going to. Right now there are two old men sitting next to me having a conversation about life. The one man is a priest and the other is recently divorced. They used to get together every week at the Starbucks on Hamilton to talk about life. Today they’re here at the new Starbucks three blocks down the road talking about life. Back in Colorado, I wasn’t feeding horses or listening to coyotes, but my family was loving me the same way they always have.
The definition of change is “make or become different”. To me, change implies that the past is in the past. When things change, people tell you to get over it and move on. Instead of thinking about change, I think I’d rather think about old school love.
The truth is that who we are is who we WERE! Change might feel like losing our past, but it’s the only thing that allows us to create the future. The way we love people is something that builds on itself. When life changes, old school love grows! My future is not only somebody else’s past, but my past is also somebody else’s future! Change happens at the surface, but old school love runs deep.