I love when I find echoes of a past happy time in my life. I love the symmetry, and also the trepidation. I love the feeling of connectedness, as though my life really is a narrative with themes and leitmotifs. I love the moments of uncertainty jolting through the familiarity.
But sometimes the most exciting thing about a new situation is that it is new.
When I was a very small child, I used to think that the clouds only appeared to move in the sky because the earth was spinning, but the clouds were in fact still. The sun, moon and stars were too far away for us to be able to perceive their relative shifting. But watching the clouds to me was like watching the road slip away under the wheels of a car. When I realised that the clouds do in fact move across our skies, I was struck with bitter disappointment. There had been something comforting in being able to look up at the sky and remind myself that we are moving forward.
The excitement of change reminds me of that. The clouds’ drifting spoke of the racing of time, of our own aging and development, and the amazing experiences that were waiting for me in my future, waiting to unfold. But I also was aware of the cyclical nature of time; that we may be hurtling through space, but we move in a fixed path, and the world spins only on itself.
And so we move forward, but also back on ourselves. The seasons come and go, and each time they come around we feel a content recognition, a familiarity. But each time they come around, we are different, we have changed. And so things are new even when we come around to them a second time.