"Going back" is the title of one of the songs. Robin’s verses make it sound easy as she decides to just do it and hope for the best. Now and then we may consider going back to familiar places, to an earlier time, a reunion with family or friends, to fondly remembered traditions or to any number of experiences from the past. But what if it’s not so easy to just do it and hope? What if it’s not the way we remember it:? What if time has changed things? What if my memory is just that – a portrait set apart in a unique frame that can’t be replicated? Robin’s closing line suggests this might be so: “hope the early frost didn't hurt the bloom.” There is some trepidation along with curiosity and anticipation. Especially if going back is to revisit a person, an event, or place that holds some regrets or needs some repairs.
Remembering is a strange talent. Science tells us that memory is stored not just in our minds but in every cell of our bodies. No wonder that a particular song or aroma or photograph, or even thinking of an experience or place or person can elicit physical reactions; can make us feel as if we are actually reliving something now. Lots of receptors respond simultaneously. Over time our body, mind and spirit collaborate to hold on to good experiences and to resolve the pain and grief of others, allowing them to slip away, perhaps partially healed but not completely gone. The good times and the hard times fade and lose their crisp edges, as if painted in muted pastels. Both the good times and the hard times weave together to become a colorful tapestry or a crazy quilt. Maybe in time we can look fondly on the tapestry or wrap the crazy quilt around ourselves for comfort.
The good times and the hard times teach us so many things. They bring the realization that life is comprised of both sides, the dark and the light, the fullness and the fallow, the joy and the pain, the yin and the yang. Going back, in actuality or in memory alone, moves us ahead into creating new experiences that will themselves become part of the tapestry.
May the sweetness and the bitter blend together for you in this new year to create a peacefulness, a compassionate solace, a welcome returning and a gentle future.