I shall be writing in the next week, but I cannot guarantee to be posting. For the first time in fifteen years I shall be returning to my holiday stomping grounds in beautiful Cornwall, and in a way I shall be sorely disappointed if there are such modern contrivances as the internet. After the activities of recent months, a week’s repose is going to seem strange indeed. Cornish ale, ice cream and pasties are to be consumed, as well as an inordinate amount of local fish. I hope it will be a good old-fashioned change of air, and a chance to take stock.
Over the years I have wondered what to do with boyish memories, hankerings and nostalgia. Whether your childhood was good, bad, or indifferent, it is doubtless good to reflect from time to time. Part of manhood is the knowledge of how it differs from boyhood, and theoretical musings are useless without some introspection. How did I get here from there? I was reminded of the importance of a realistic approach through facebook, of all things. Discovering the grown-up shadows of youthful faces from the past, replete with biographies of maturation, joy and lament, really altered my impressions of what happened all those years ago. There was a coming-to-terms moment; a sense of distance travelled and demons diminished.
I anticipate the coming week to be something similar, but in reverse. I can visualise my own tiny footprints in the sand, the thickness of summer air, and the exuberant innocence of childhood. Probably most of us had a juvenile paradise, removed from our ordinary world and utterly joyful. In memory, the sun always shone. No doubt my revisit will come with realities not formerly noticed: cloudy days and costly diversions. A week will seem like seven days and not an eternity, and I shall probably not be satisfied to spend the days variously playing beach cricket, jumping breakers, and foraging in rock pools. Contemplating the sea as a child, my mind travelled to America – an impossibly distant and enchanting idea – and the world was just wonder. Having come back from that unfeasibly close and disappointingly familiar place, to where will my mind go now?
I will settle for a little peace. In case I cannot communicate in the meantime, I wish for you the same.
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