Wandering Thoughts

April 30, 2010

Nostalgia –

Filed under: Ramblings and Musings,Staying Places,Surfing — terence @ 11:24 am

– an aging related process in which the past begins to take on more promise than the future. After all, memories tend to focus on the significant, so tedium and drudgery are quickly erased. And – up to a point – times of trouble and things gone wrong can be discounted, because we made it through them. Which leaves the good memories free to be cleaned, polished and enhanced. The future on the other hand has more than its fair share of what seems to be dreary certainty along with worry inducing uncertainty. Also, as you get older, there’s more past and less future.

And so, walking into university today I caught a whiff of a chemical smell. I don’t know what chemical, but the smell was the same as the one from the factories south of the high school I went to. The smell you smelt when the southerly was blowing. The smell that meant surf. Now, years later, the smell means memories of excited chatter on the bus home; climbing into damp salty wetsuits behind the shelter of storm-blown pohutukawa trees; riding short, steep waves in an icy sea; and all these variables combining in a slightly implausible equation with an end result of giddy happiness.

For a moment there this morning I was more excited by those waves in the past than by the ones I hope to get this weekend. Even though the water here is 7 degrees warmer, the wind kinder and the rides better. That’s nostalgia for you.


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