Somewhere better than here. That's what each of these mythical places represents. A place where the cares of the world are swallowed up in the peace and prosperity of living on a higher plane. At a higher level. A place where all that is wrong is made right.
A fantasy world, where everything happens just as you hope it would. A place of fulfilled dreams, and sunset skies, and cotton candy clouds, where wonders never cease, and children never age.
Sandy, Utah wasn't exactly Camelot, and it really wasn't Neverland. There were no streets paved with chocolate, or perfect people doing perfect things, perfectly. It was a different kind of place.
It was Eden.
A place of innocence. A nurturing home. A womb. A place you can only see from the inside. A place with no latitude or longitude. A beautiful garden where, once you leave, you never can return.
Sandy City still exists. You can walk the streets that I grew up on. You can see the schools I attended, and the homes where my friends and I played. If you look closely enough, you may even see a fossil from our epoch -- a tree that once held a playhouse, a fence with the scars of a thousand thrown Chinese stars, a Big Rock in a river, where we saluted love and rock 'n roll, in elegant graffiti. Dusty Star Wars toys and broken Atari consoles, in the corner of some attic.
But, make no mistake, our Eden is gone.
It raised us. It taught us. It gave us a reference for happiness and joy, sorrow and pain, in a safe harbor -- something to judge the rest of our lives by. And then one day, it gently released us into the world. It shattered like a broken stained glass window, and placed a piece of itself in each of our hearts, and whispered softly in our ears, to go -- to leave innocence behind, and to take what we knew and share it with those who were unlucky enough to grow up somewhere else.
And, as we looked back, Eden faded from view. Like a mirage. Like a dream.
All that remains of the Sandy that I knew, are memories -- my memories. My friends' memories. And the collective memories that we all share of a time and place that existed, like Camelot, for one brief shining moment; like Neverland, with an adventure around every corner; and, like Eden, where we lived, for a time, innocently.
It's time to tell this story.