The Return Journey

The Return Journey

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‘There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.’
Nelson Mandela

‘We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.’
T.S. Eliot

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At some time in our travels, we must return to familiar places, some of which we call home. Our expectations and anticipations of the return journey can frequently be out of touch with the reality of the place. We may dread it or desire it.Returning is like committing yourself to a weekly blog post, it helps you focus your mind on where you’ve been, how you felt and what it all meant.  Of course being travellers, we know that life is change and we can’t expect the place and people to remain untouched. It may appear that way but it you look deeper you will find that it’s  not the case.

I recall a scene from one of my favourite films, Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Spellbound’ in which Ingrid Bergman returns to the home of her professor , a familiar place where she stayed while studying psychotherapy. She looks at herself in the mirror of her bedroom and tells Gregory Peck that the room, once so familiar seems totally changed. Then she realises it’s not the room but she who has changed and names the phenomenon ‘transfer of affects’. So it is with us, we can’t  return to the same place without realising how much the journey has changed us. But can we appreciate the subliminal changes which have occurred for the familiar place or home  itself? The ornaments on the mantelpiece maybe the same or the curve of the coastline or the welcoming smiles of family and friends, but beneath it all things will have changed. Unless children, who patently reveal their rapid growth and change, are involved it might take time to tune in and listen to the deeper levels of change in the familiar. Its the rhythm of life  which is a constant for all life.

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