Prettiest View

Column by Connor JaschenFeatures Editor

The prettiest view in my hometown was from our own private mountain.

OK, so it wasn’t a mountain per se; it was actually an abandoned building, one part of a set of factories only ever used for storage on rare occasion, but otherwise completely forgotten.

During the day, workers at the plant worked around it, but at night, it was ours.

It was a bit of a sketchy way to go, I admit.

You had to go downtown and find the railroad tracks, follow them all the way down and then pry the door open just enough so the horde of gangly teens could squeeze through.

Then, it was a seven-story climb on winding stairs until you got to the top floor. From there, you would have to climb a ladder that led to the roof: the final destination.

I am not condoning trespassing or anything, but these are the days I look back on and laugh. I mean, think of it: we were a bunch of kids trying to find our way through eight stories of broken glass and darkness, all to get to the roof of some abandoned building no one but us seemed to care about.

When we got to the top, though, it was always worth it. From there, you could see the whole city, sparkling and glistening in the night as people moved to and fro, living their lives just like we were.

Now, my town wasn’t particular large or lively by any means,  but it was big enough to have a sea of lights glistening beneath us.

When we were on that roof, we weren’t those kids with a chip on our shoulder for no better reason but because we were born in a boring town.

We were the watchers of the world, and in those moments, we were hundreds of feet above everyone for the first time in our lives.

We didn’t do it because of the thrill or the trouble we could get in. Instead, we took hold of those little moments, just to see a different way of being. There was an idea that if you were willing to take that chance, you could see our entire city – hold it in your hands, almost.

I’ll never forget those nights, looking out over the town like we owned it.

Eventually, they tightened up security after someone (not in our group) decided to begin breaking things.

I honestly don’t think whatever vandal who did that understands the view he stole from us kids.

The point is, sometimes the best places to be are often off the beaten path. Yeah, it was seven flights of stairs and a really sketchy ladder, but when it came down to it, it was a new view of the town we knew by heart.

Don’t be afraid to put that extra work in for something that, at the time may seem a bit mundane. Take a new look at something every once in a while. The best views always come with a climb.