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‘Looking back, over my shoulder!’

Updated: Feb 5

The Mike and the Mechanics song 'Over My Shoulder' is one that has an unlikely, yet infinitely special, place in my heart... and not just because it happens to be the first record I ever bought!

As well, the words have a certain resonance, substantiating the discomfort I've always felt for goodbyes, and my need to eek out endings via the over-sentimentality of a backwards glance... or two. Or three!

Just lately, however, a chance encounter with a beautiful quote has led me to call this affinity for 'looking back, over my shoulder' into question:

The quote read:

'If you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can.’

Beryl Markham - Adventurer, Author and Aviator

The words intrigued me. Partly because they are the opposite of what I have always done, but more so because fairly imminently, I’ll be leaving just such a place - an edifice of bricks, mortar and yesteryears - which has been long outgrown, albeit not necessarily out-loved!

In the past, whenever there was an era such as this, whose door was about to be irreversibly and/or ceremoniously shut, my preferred method would be to pause and drink it in, even when there’s no more to be drunk!

It comes back to a (perhaps ill -founded) belief in the essence-capturing powers of…

Just one more minute!

Just one more glance!

Just one more photo!

The very idea of NOT doing these things - of not getting that final fix, and the regret that might ensue - it’s nothing short of anxiety inducing.

That said, Beryl’s advice has made me determined not to over-wallow in the waters of what's been.

To not linger in looking back, but instead only glance...swiftly, and in the knowledge that the bandaid of sentimental attachment is never more painlessly removed, than with confidence... and haste!

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