Somewhere along the journey I have picked up the saying of “All roads lead to Rome”. I can’t say where I picked it from or what it’s origin is. I could track it down but it doesn’t seem important really. The reality is though that they don’t. They don’t at all. Roads lead everywhere. Where we expect them to and where we don’t expect them to.
Sometimes they take us in circles, sometimes they meander and sometimes they are straight direct and to the heart.
Sometimes they even lead us an unexpected return journey that has a potency that was never expected. An impact that is as unforeseen as it is powerful. One can never know when that will happen and why. It can’t be predicted, it can’t be relied on but when it hits it is something incredible.
I have had a couple of such return trips like this in the last week. The first I wrote about the other day when I revisited a place I lived when I was 4-5 and walked on places I hadn’t for 40 years. A very powerful moment.
Recently I wrote called merry-go-round or similar. I talked about an experience of a merry-go-round that was in a playground at the scout hall I attended back in the early 1980’s. I had the opportunity on Thursday of revisiting that place, physically. I found it quite quickly but alas the merry-go-round not there, but yet, it is. The playground has been rebuilt with nice new equipment and soft fall and all that. Yet that merry-go-round still sits in that spot spinning it’s experiences in my heart and soul.
I sat at the edge of that playground, quite overcome. Sitting there in a sense between two parallel realities, in one I was 45 year old man looking at a kids playground and remembering where things were, yet in another I was again that 13-14 year old teenager spinning around at speed watching the light flicker and flow in the leaves of the gum trees above.
The very gum trees are all still there and laying on some of the new equipment I was transported straight back in the flick of an instant to spinning like crazy around and around. Preparing for the onslaught of the social interaction and communication that was scouts. Hearing the shrieks and shouts of those other boys of the scout troop.
I suspect strongly that the laying down of our memories with rich experiences creates powerful internal narratives and beliefs within us. I suspect strongly that they embed into us much about how we travel the world and interact with it, interact with people and view ourselves.
I wonder, and hope that in taking some of these Return trips we can revisit what is laid down and redirect to better narratives and beliefs about ourselves and how we travel forward.
It was a powerful thing to revisit that playground, to re-experience those moments of so long ago and realise that yes I am in fact still here. Still walking the journey, that I am somewhat a different person than I was, way back then and if I am to revisit this place again in another 30 years it will again be a somewhat different person making a somewhat different return trip to experience a somewhat different encounter that is just as powerful, just as necessary and just as much a reality to move through and forward from.
Here’s to return trips, may they be ever potent.