Letting go

I understood this before. When I missed my childhood I reminded myself that they can never return in the same way. Whether it's those holidays in China in 1998 with my cousins and family, the way reading novels could transport me to a magical world, or the fascination I found in computer games. My dead relatives cannot come back to life, my little cousin and I can never play like siblings again. Harry Potter can never fascinate me in the same way, I will never wish to go on adventures like the Secret Seven. I can't play make pretend games with my dolls and mice, or have so much fun with playgrounds or sand bombs again. My rats are gone, my dog can't walk with me to the beach again.

This year I often miss high school life. I miss the regular routine of going on the bus in the morning. I miss learning in a classroom environment, doing questions and playing games instead of merely listening to lectures. I miss my favourite subjects, miss having my teachers as mentors and friends. Studying with my friends in study lines, or late at night at the uni library; the food and laughter we shared every recess and lunch. Thinking of it makes me feel lonely now. But like childhood, it will never come back in the same way.

The same applies to friends. My best childhood friend and I will only contact each other a few times a year. I will only have memories of friends who I've lost contact with. My ex and I will never again share that same feeling when we see each other. Mum and I may never be so completely open to each other again. And my best friend in high school may never again share so much in common and understand me in quite the same way.

Even the most fun and enjoyable times end. Even the best friendships transform. We can only treasure those memories and be glad that we have them at all. I know I should enjoy and appreciate what I have now before it becomes something of the past. Hard to do though...

For you dear friend, I'm sorry I can't always be there for you in the same way. Here's a poem you will be quite familiar with:

Louise MacNeice

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told

We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

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