Sometimes coming home isn’t easy.
When you’ve been away for a bit too long, you no longer know what to expect. Fear creeps in. Doubt begins to gnaw. What was once a sanctuary – a place of safety – now seems like a treacherous network of dark, foreboding tunnels. One wrong turn, a careless miscalculation, a hesitant pause could all spell disaster.
This is how I feel coming back to ‘Tea and Scones’.
I hardly recognise the neighbourhood anymore. Sure, the names are familiar and the sights are still vaguely the same. But something tells me that things have somehow changed. Exactly how I don’t know.
What did I expect? A welcoming committee? Hardly. But I never dreamed it would be this hard. I think I’d still know my way around the old neighbourhood. I think I’d still recognise the faces in the windows.
But would you still recognise mine?
As I write the words of this paragraph, I begin to realise that it is not the neighbourhood that has changed. The neighbourhood’s still the same one. The ugly, deny-it-if-I-could fact is that it is I who have changed. I hope that I haven’t changed too much that I seem too much like a stranger.
But most of all, dear Helene, should we meet again – and if I asked you really, really nicely – would you come sit with me on that bench in the park?
And we’d write again. Like we used to.