I mentioned that I've joined the local rowing club, and the experience got me thinking about the way things resurface in life—those things you used to do, but don't anymore.
There are entire periods of life when it's possible to be obsessed with some activity—car repair, canning, going to movies, playing cribbage—and then for one reason or another you quit. Sometimes it's circumstances—you move and no longer have a garage to store your old Corvair, or you have a baby and the hours you spent in darkened theaters with a box of buttered popcorn are now filled with weighing the pros and cons of bibs and bottle warmers. Or maybe you fixate on something new and different and it overtakes your former preoccupation.
Sometimes these old passions disappear forever, but as I've gotten older I find that often they reappear, albeit in a slightly different form. I realize that part of what I love about rowing is that I’ve always enjoyed being on the water in a small boat—I've taken numerous canoe trips, taught sailing, and in high school I was on a flat water kayaking team. Sewing is the same—I quit for many years, and then a friend taught me to quilt and my love of stitching returned. My old obsessions may have morphed, but the fact that they’ve resurfaced makes me think they're an essential part of me. I may not see the connection right away, but eventually I look back and see the pattern—of fascination, absorption, and exhilaration.
How about you? Is there something you do today that is linked to a passion from your past? What did it used to be and what does it look like now?