… to tell black from white
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
And our choices they were few and the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split.
Bob Dylan’s Dream – 1963
I was first brought to the north coast of Cornwall in the 1950s. I returned in the 1980s when the children were young and now I am back again. The difference between the first and second visits was a lifetime, the difference between the second and third, no time at all. Between the 1950s and 1980s I changed utterly, between the 1980s and 2017, the world around me changed while I stayed much the same. Almost everyone is gone.
A life can be wasted trying to go back. Is it the people, the place or moments in time that always remain just out of reach, like the punishment of Tantalus.
On this first day of meteorological autumn, I allow myself the luxury of squinting into a bright setting sun and imagine everyone is here again, heading for the shoreline. Safe, certain and watched over, what could possibly go wrong.