Only when the past is truly past can the journey towards the future begin – starting, if you wish, with a simple country innocent saying his farewells and shouldering his bag, on a farm called Speculation; passing through the quiet hamlet of Possibility and onwards through the provincial towns of Probability and Likelihood, towards the distant city on the hill, Actuality.
Yet the journey towards the future is also a journey of remembrance and forgetting – everywhere one passes signposts for the roads not taken, the way is pregnant with the reminders of discovery and loss, bliss, despair, loves surrendered and lives that must, in the end, and will, go their separate ways.
You may leave, it seems, but you can never forget where you have come from. We hurry forward, full of hope and purpose, but stealing glances sometimes, over our shoulders.
I wondered the other day, as I was thinking about our separation – Rob, happy and busy back home in Toronto, me here, in our Johannesburg house, carrying on with my life – why it is that we are not miserable.
I think it is because we know this road we are walking is necessary. There is no other.