I live in a place that is a memory to my childhood friends. In the day, decades ago, the kids that I grew up with either lived or visited Singapore. Their memories are now shaped by time and youthful eyes as much as they are by facts. As much as each has read the news and hears how much has changed, when they visit they are surprised!
“I knew things had changed, but I did not realize how much things had changed!”
“Nothing is as it was. How do you find your way?”
“Is there anything that is the same?”
Like other cities of the world, change is a constant. Infrastructure, attitudes, and cultural normal are just the beginning of the change winds that impact every day. Emerging and fading businesses, shifting patterns of where people call home and do the business of living, and in this city’s population mix reflect the times we are in. With each, there are those who lament or celebrate the change. It is as if they are looking for a perfect state that once reached will mark the end of change. I have come to appreciate that change in and of itself is neither good or bad, is just is a momentary opportunity to be embraced or ignored.
It is hard to explain just how much is different. The world that we lived in during those days is no more, anywhere. Yet at the heart of it all, there is much that is the same. For those who remember the days of old, I would offer you the follow.
If a force “rounded you up from all over the place, from the four winds, from the seven seas,” (Psalm 107.3) and brought you back, you would find the heart of what you loved it still here. There is a universal thirst to be a part of a community, of belonging and being unconditionally accepted. A love of shopping remains. There is a joy of food and sharing the experiences with it.
We are scattered yet together in our hearts.