Early morning on the last day of the holidays, I sit on the front porch, look at the sunlight beginning to run thickly down the trunks of the beech trees, pull out my iPod and consider the possibilities for a song to describe that slightly hollow feeling that accompanies the end of something special, the memories freshly-minted that now have to be put away, folded and stored in the last corner of a bulging duffel bag before we head back to our real world.
Bitter-sweet, because we go from one happiness to another, from the head-back, wide-eyed shocked laughter of a child being caught by surprise by a large splashing wave, to the head-back, wide-eyed smile of bliss on seeing a loved one again. And, for a while at least, we'll close our eyes from time to time and remember a moment, an afternoon, a joke, a face that we treasured all too briefly on our travels.
So why have I come to this song? Partly because the love I feel for my old, spiritual home is something that drills so deep inside me that it feels like a living, breathing person who has walked beside me for many years. I can look out towards the hills and say to them: "Thank you/You took me dancing/Cross the floor/Cheek to cheek," remembering the days I have spent clambering to their summits. I can stand at the harbour's edge and silently say goodbye to the fishing fleet as I would to a friend who I'll hope to see again.
And all the while, I will be looking forward to saying hello to a new love that awaits me at home: "Just take my hand and lead me where you will." Fresh, renewed, cleansed, this is a song for new beginnings, old friends, warm memories and the aching chasm of hope.