I sometimes like to think of myself, in a moment of whimsy, as a time traveller. Not that I move physically through the years (everyone does that – going forward at least), but because my heart is always pressing against my memory, drawing me back to bygone days.
It’s often said that dwelling on ‘what was’ is futile and foolish, but I believe that it shouldn’t be ignored – it is, after all, how we have gotten to where we are in life; inevitably, it is something we should either cherish, or learn from. And isn’t every moment instantly past?
So, in quiet times that allow reflection, or sometimes in uncontrolled dreams, I drift backwards to what once was; I see people, feel vivid moments again, draw back to poignant points of youthful foolishness. It can be wonderful and it can also be heartbreaking. But it is something I would never wish to lose, this ability to travel backwards in time.
One day I may succumb to a disease that robs me of this magic – Alzheimer’s / dementia, perhaps simply old age. I cannot conceive anything more terrifying, as I use my personal history to define myself; I focus on past moments to ensure I grow and improve and learn; I feel connections with people I no longer know; I need to travel backwards sometimes, simply to feel emotions that I seem to have lost as I have aged.
It is wrong to dwell too much on what cannot be changed – but it is right to remember who we are and how we came to be; and sometimes this mental transportation encourages me to remake lost connections, find previous passions, take the alternative path and see where this time it leads… so allow me my apparent folly, as I spare a moment and shed a tear for something long ago – it could be in tribute of what made me who I am today, or the start of a new set of memories spurred on by regrets of old.