Can't Go Back
From the outskirts of the town,
Where of old the mile-stone stood,
Now a stranger, looking down
I beheld the shadowy crown
Of the dark and haunted wood.
Is it changed, or am I changed?
Ah! the oaks are fresh and green,
But the friends with whom I ranged
Through their thickets are estranged
By the years that intervene.
Bright as ever flows the sea,
Bright as ever shines the sun.
But, alas! they seem to me
Not the sun that used to be,
Not the tides that used to run.
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Note: There must be a gracious relinquishing of the things of youth. We strive, diet, exercise, take courses, venture upon new associations. But the changes that betray our former experience and capability are inevitable. The seeming simplicity and purity of those former things escape us now if we choose to re-visit. The eyes have changed; the heart has changed; the hopes have changed. There remains one compelling task. A yieldedness, and a preparation for eternity. Helping others in the same. And when that door opens, perhaps, just perhaps...the things of youth return.
(Photo by Steve Shockley)