What is it about nostalgia that some of us cannot jettison? A valid concern is that the yearning makes a mess of being-in-the-moment. That same yearning can deny future possibilities when it turns to ruminating. For some, nostalgia can magnify preoccupation. Not good.
Yet there are fragments of nostalgia that remain fade-free. Like writing/journaling and photography, riding a sport bike can be solitary, well, a choice by many, including myself. Certainly some of my own experience aboard two wheels can be marked as memorable [and mostly positive].
As is fitting this time of year, nostalgia tends to swell, though more specifically with auld lang syne, those days of fond remembrance, of days spent from far-off times or even those more recent. It matters none because an experience that generates a fondness or even a light-hearted sense of joy is timeless. The decades can sometimes feel “like only yesterday.”
The distinction I’m trying to make is that auld lang syne speaks of a heart-felt time devoid of regret and rumination. Isn’t that what probes our memory at year’s end? What have we forgotten? Whom have we forgotten?
My school of thought is that these fade-free capsules of nostalgia are not containers of events that could’ve or should’ve been. No, auld lang syne is more about preserving good things which matter: lessons learned, people who’ve made a difference, the unconditional, enduring quality of gratitude and love.
Before I make a mess of this post, I’ll let the poet Robert Burns weigh in. He’s the Scot who made this poem, this inimitable song, about as timeless as anything found in life. Click here.