There are moments in music that can be defined in one word. Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” is one of those moments, and the one word that can sum up this ballad is: nostalgia.
A longing for the past. Reminiscing on a better time and grieving the loss of what was, what could have been and what will never be.
During this time of year, nostalgia runs rampant in our hearts and minds. We think about holidays of the past, with family and friends who may no longer be with us, old traditions we have lost along the way and even just the loss of another year with the ones we love.
What’s most interesting is that amidst all of these feelings of nostalgia; this time of year is also the most aesthetically delightful times (if, of course, you are in a geographical location that experiences season). As Charles Dickens writes, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.
This season, with all the nostalgia and difficult memories it may bring, also brings new memories, new beauty, new growth.
It is good to cherish our lives, every past and present moment. It is also good to recognize the beauty of change, the beauty of loss. As you watch the changing leaves, realize the beauty of their “dying.” As you watch the change in your life circumstances, recognize the beauty in the loss of your life. In the things you “let die”. Maybe they are your fears. Maybe they are your unrealized dreams. Maybe they are your worries and stress about what others think of you.
If the green leaves of summer never encountered the Autumn. They would never become the beautiful fall colors we know and love. If we never experience change and loss in life, we would never “let go” of what we’re not meant to hold onto in the first place.
Change is hard. Loss is painful. We can still picture the life we once had, or wish we had. But what we must realize is that though our dream was beautiful, the loss of it, the transformation into a new dream, is beautiful too. There is beauty in letting go…
“In the end, only 3 things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”