It’s been nearly 12 years since I left California for New York. 13 years since the days when my friends and I would drive to the top of Skyline Drive in Cowan Heights to escape whatever it was that we wanted to escape that day: school, work, family, boyfriends, whatever. We used to sneak into an abandoned mansion at the top of the hill, share stories, dreams… bottles of Boone’s.
Now, more than a dozen years later, there’s another mansion being erected on the property and another generation of dreamers parking along the cliffside shoulder.
View from Cowan Heights overlooking Irvine / Photo by Meagan Kirkpatrick
I’ve always had a thing for heights. I’ve been taking flying trapeze classes for years and one of my favorite things to do is to stare out of airplane windows at the cities below. There’s just something so soothing and intoxicating about looking down at the world – at the days passed – and reflecting in a place that’s both familiar and anonymous.
I can’t help but wonder though, why is it that we humans feel the need to look to the past for answers about the future? It’s like an invitation to carry all that weight with you wherever you go.
When I’m feeling deep and reflective, Bon Iver is at the top of my playlist. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to his self-titled album this week. Wash is one of my favorite tracks and the lyrics are the perfect companion for a skyline view.