They say you can never go home again. That the past is gone, and if you hope to recapture it by visiting the places of your childhood you will be disappointed. I am not so sure about that. Yesterday I was blessed to be able to visit once more the town (or is it a village?) where I grew up. The occasion was a Prizegiving ceremony at my alma mater, and I was able to sit in the prestigious Stuart Hall, surrounded by the soothing mountains of upper Clarendon, Jamaica.
Yes, things and times have changed. Technology leads the way for so many advances, good and bad. But there seem to be some enduring commonalities between the students of the present, and my own schoolmates. There is a sense of pride in the school that molds and guides us, a healthy competitiveness to be the class with the most students on the honor roll, and a joyful delight in the talents of the smallest performer.
Much has changed, but can we really expect things to be exactly as they were? Hopefully we have also changed along the way, grown a little wiser as we added on the years. We have learned that school days should be enjoyed and relished, for they pass so quickly. We have learned not to be so quick to judge our elders, our parents and our teachers. Who knew raising kids was so challenging? Who knew that adults did not have all the answers? Who knew we would have to learn to work and get along with people from all walks of life, discovering the art of compromise and cooperation?
My world and world view may have changed over the years, but I still appreciate the beauty of a full moon peeping in through my bedroom window, turning the scenery into an outline in greys and shadows. Rising up in the early morning in the hills above Kingston, the moon was setting as the sun was trying to come up, blocked by the mountains around me. Before dawn a pack of dogs were inspired to howl in unison at the moon.
The ride to country has changed of course, by the hand of man. Thankfully the highway whisks us up to May Pen in no time, and then the road up to Chapelton reminds us that there is progress yet to be made. Uniformed children hang out at school gates, buying treats from the sellers before climbing the hill to school. Shake-hand corner at Sour Sop Turn is the same hairpin bend we remember from years gone by. So much has changed, but thankfully much remains to remind us of our youth, and make us feel like schoolchildren ourselves.
So you can go home again, but be prepared for a wealth of emotional reminders of your youth, and a wakeup call about the passage of time. The unchanging face of the mountains sends a message that we are but a speck of sand in the scheme of things. And when we look at our daily problems and obsessions through the perspective of the universe, they amount to a whole lot of fuss about nothing. Life goes on, time passes, new generations come up and take over, it is the nature of life to move forward. And the way to move with it is to step back, take a breath, and then let it carry you. We can look back and reminisce on the days of our youth, but we must take the lessons, adapt and change to make the most of the present and future.
One Love family! May your day be peaceful and your challenges rewarding. Have a wonderful Friday, and a great weekend.