Springingtiger's Blog

The Same River
March 29, 2013, 14:36
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” No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus

Yesterday I bought John Hanna’s Old Bangor, book of photos of Bangor Co. Down as she was in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. There was much I recognised from my childhood, but I was saddened to discover the Pickie Pool is gone. I have happy memories of the Pickie in the sunshine, which made the water feel even colder! And after the Pickie, an ice cream from Cap’s, happy memories. But one can’t go back.

A few years ago I revisited my old school, Giggleswick, “the Shakespearean centre of the North”. I was horrified when not a pupil stood when adults entered the room, things have changed greatly since I was a pupil. The Giggleswick where I studied has gone, the society reflected by that Giggleswick has also moved on. I am not sure that society has improved, but, in many ways Giggleswick has. I would love to be a pupil there more enjoying a range of facilities and opportunities we never had. However I am glad I was there when I was, as I have acknowledged before, the school have me a good education and imposed on me the discipline that made it possible. It occurs to me that there were probably Old Giggleswickians who regarded the facilities I enjoyed with a degree of envy. Last year Giggleswick celebrated its six hundredth anniversary, yet in reality although the institution is six hundred years old, the Giggleswick School founded six hundred years ago as a chantry school in the village is long gone.

People describe the past as another country, but its not one we can visit. The river flows on, the seasons change and the past is no more. Just as my old school has been improved, just as the Pickie Pool has been replaced by an amusement park, so a new generation surpasses ours, consigning our accomplishments from the Book of Records to the history books. This is as it should be. It is good to remember, good to honour our past, but we can never go back, we have no choice but to move on. We can not step twice into the same river so we’d better have a good swim while we can!


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Thanks, Rory. Good to see your mind working so clearly again. I long for some of the past joys and do swim in the joys of today, knowing they too will pass.

Comment by Robert Frost

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