Walking the streets of a town where I used to live, it struck me how my body remembered it so much better than my mind. The feel of the cobbles under my feet, the particular cold dampness of the wind, and the scent of yeast in the air – all deeply familiar to me physically. And yet somehow my mind had forgotten – it had got used to other streets and different air.
My mental map of the city had become a bit scrambled over time, but without thinking about it I walked to my destinations, taking old shortcuts without hesitation.
In the evening I went to my old Aikido class, and again my body remembered the moves that my mind was confused by.
Looking back, it’s not surprising that so much has changed mentally. A lot has happened in the 2 years since I last walked these streets. And so many things felt different.
I met friends from my Buddhist days. And I was glad to meet them, and amazed how much my scars had healed – so that I could speak equanaimously about things that once upset me.
I stayed in the same bedroom I shared with my last-but-one lover, and where we finally split up… and felt relief more than sadness. (A good omen for my break-up with my more recent ex!)
The hopes and fears I had when I left are so different from those were in my mind yesterday. The ghosts of old dreams that made me decide to leave have been laid to rest. But I still would not choose to go back.
Sometimes it is good to look back to see how far you have travelled. And then carry on walking towards your future.