It is odd how some places recur in our lives.
There is an upscale mall in Southern California called Fashion Island. When I was in grade school, my mother would occasionally shop there and she would leave me and my brother (this was the 70s, when you could leave kids to play on their own) by a koi pond to play. There was a stylish metal fence around it, and concrete slabs that allowed the water to flow between them, an a center concrete platform. We would make up games and try to touch the fish and wait until my mother came back for us.
My parents, after moving to many different places in California, are now in an apartment within easy walking distance of Fashion Island. I stayed with them last week and walked over to the mall to watch a film. I noticed that although the mall was unrecognizable from my youth, it still had the koi pond, with all the concrete slabs still in place. So I took these photos that you see below. However, instead of being the nostalgia pics I expected, the reflections of the buildings that now surrounded the pond changed it to a surrealistic landscape. I was surprised to see that the fish are swimming in what it seems to be water colors, swirling in an almost psychedelic landscape. Instead of remembering what is old, I now have a new, more artistic, way of imagining that same place.,
Now I find out that my other brother (who was too young to be left to play with us in an outdoor mall in the 70s) proposed to his wife at the same pond, on the same concrete slabs. So when I think of this pond, will I remember playing, or will I remember the colorful landscape, or will I imagine my brother proposing to his wonderful lady? That place is now a part of me, but which person will I choose to be when I think of the place? The wonderful thing is that I am the child and I am the photographer and I am the person for which this pond is a family memory. And this pond can be all of these things for me, and much more for so many other people.
I love the variety of the human experience.