Visiting my hometown after a few years away has got me in a reflective mood. It's been wonderful to catch up with friends, stop by and gab (gossip, more like) with my old neighbor, see the family and the sights. But the emotions are frankly more mixed than I was prepared for.
There is the restaurant where I worked once–to all appearances unchanged, and yet the faces and voices are strange to me. All those long nights etched in memory, all those people, coworkers and even friends, all of it so all-consuming once, and now all gone. Just a strange, uncanny husk of memories remaining.
A number of my friends have likewise moved away, and, of course, everyone has in some way moved on.
A week from now I'll be back in Florida. I'll be busy at work, happy to settle in to my routine again, and yet aware on some level that when it comes to my hometown I can never "go back".
Epicurean philosophy gives friendship a place of honor among pleasures. My trip home has me thinking that I want to be more intentional about this going forward. I just don't want to take the people in my life for granted–because life goes by quickly, and leaves very little that lasts.
It's an odd feeling; I can put it no more plainly than that. It's just an odd feeling.