Home. We associate feelings of safety, familiarity, and security to this word, whether it be a person or place. It’s something for us to go to when we’re feeling down or lost. Home is a place we can count on to guide us in the right direction. Something that makes us feel complete and at bliss.
For many it has multiple unforgettable memories connected to it, that over time we reminisce in. But like everything we come to familiarize ourselves with, it changes. Change is inevitable and no matter how much we resist it, it still brings itself upon us.
Juliette Kinzie describes the building of Fort Dearborn in her book Wau-ban. Starting from scratch, these people built a new home inside the fort. Similarly everyone starts their life somewhere and from there we build upon the foundation. Kinzie uses imagery to show every detail of the fort from the buildings to the surrounding scenery to the “Old Geese” who owns a small tavern down the river.
Looking back at the past, we can all remember our first house and the way the neighborhood around it was first set-up. We can remember the first time we met someone and the feeling they left with us. These thoughts and observations are ingrained into our mind and from then on that is our first perception of that place/person. When we do go back over the years we’ll remember that old ice cream store we used to walk down to after dinner or the first time your significant other looked at you with that sparkle in their eyes. And even though it may no longer reside there, in it’s place now a five-star restaurant, or the sparkle is dimmer now due to years of stress, we’ll still hold the memories of that ice cream store/sparkle because that’s what was there when our home was first established.
Everything changes over a short period of time. “To contemplate the almost magical change which a few years have wrought…,” is as bittersweet as Kinzie describes. She explains to accept this change is hard but a part of history. Chicago has come a long way since the building of Fort Dearborn. As someone who has recently moved to the city, it’s interesting to hear about the back story of a place I now call home. This city has a lot of history to it, and as I continue my education here I only hope to learn more of it. (Julia Vasquez / City of Stories Student)