Recently I had the chance to visit a couple of other regions in the world and it was fascinating to see how much each of these places had changed since I last visited them. As I walked along the quiet paths in an old London park, it took me back to the days when my dad would bring us to the park on a Sunday afternoon for ice cream and play time. My sister and I would run around until we could hardly stand. I remember going on the swings and feeling the rush of the wind in my face as I went higher and higher without a care in the world. Oh how different a time it is now.
As I walked along sandy beaches in Ocho Rios Jamaica, I also remember a time when life was just so much fun and very carefree. The sun beat down on my shoulders each morning when I took my beach walk with friends, and now I worried more about getting sun burn than I did back then when I spent hours in the water and often times going home burnt to a crisp!
Its funny how when we look at change, we can only see what was then and what is now. We miss the parts in the middle and they can often be the most critical things that have helped us to grow from then to now. We miss the times of ecstasy when we land our first job, pass our driving test or complete our education. We forget the excitement of meeting our spouse, buying our first home and dealing with our first drama. Our memories become jaded as we reflect on then and now and so often we miss the things that make us who we are today.
Life has changed significantly for me in these past months. My 2 children are now adults and there are days when I feel invisible, unappreciated and completely unimportant and I long for those days when they used to drive me crazy with their unending questions, and artful tricks - there I go looking at the then and now completely forgetting how wonderfully rewarding it has been to be their mother! I am also a newly single woman and as I look back on my years of marriage, the then and now holds very bittersweet memories and almost a wistfulness of what if..... Change is never easy but it is always necessary. What we should never forget is the bit in the middle that took us from back then to now.
"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell