"We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." -T.S. EliotEvery once in a while I'll be looking at a familiar person or place-- someone or somewhere that I've known for time beyond memory-- and all of a sudden I see it as if I never have before. Maybe what I am looking at has changed, or maybe I have, but for whatever reason, it seems entirely new to me. These rare instances of "jamais vu" (the opposite of deja vu) are usually a little disconcerting but mostly enjoyable, like reliving a little bit of my life over again.
This happened to me the other day in church, while we were singing "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear". I can't count how many times I've sung that Christmas carol, but for whatever reason the second verse struck me as if I'd never heard it before.
Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
Maybe it's for these type of experiences that we have holiday traditions in the first place (or was is the second place?).