"No man ever steps in the same river twice. For it's not the same river and he is not the same man", said Heraclitus, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. To ordinary unthinking mortals, this is rather comical. They would scoff at this apparently irrational argument because they think the river flows as it did before and they are the same persons throughout their lives. Little aware that everything in this universe undergoes changes every second or even every fraction of a second, they may take a plunge in a river again to show it was the same experience.
This happens because the change is not perceptible to the naked eye but if one pauses to think, one will appreciate the fact that the water there was moment before has flowed down to be replaced by a fresh volume and the contents including floating soil particles in it are different. In the same way the person is a changed one. The condition that prompted him to take the bath may no longer exist the second time or there may be a greater or no urgency this time and all this makes a difference in the composition of the personality in question.
This is exactly why one cannot bathe in the same river twice. In the same way, one cannot revisit the days left behind. Yet science claims time travel is possible. James Webb Space Telescope takes us billions years back across 340 light years to have glimpses of the formative pictures of the universe. This is no fiction but reality at its most authentic.
So, maybe, not all things we consider lost are not actually lost. Only we have no means to travelling back to time. But human mind is powerful enough to revisit all that was once part of one's life, of course in association with others who were somehow part of the physical or mental frame. It is not just people but the natural settings with their charms where plants and trees with flowers and fruits, bushes, green pastures, undulating crop fields, ponds, canals, lakes, swamps, rivers and maybe, for some even sea present a particularly enduring scene before the eyes of a budding life. Eternally enduring is it!
As the little life blossoms, interests continue to grow diverse. Inquisitive minds and eyes feast on the beauty and wonders of Nature. But the problem is that not all children are equally fortunate to have the leisure for a communion with the myriad enchanting and bewitching natural changes that take place with the order of seasonal cycle.
Children born in cities are most unfortunate because of their deprivation of the many gifts their rural brothers and sisters receive in the lap of Nature. This explains why the young generation is growing robotic. Even in villages, the scenic beauty is losing the multi-dimensional attractions because wilderness is fast disappearing to make room for trees that bring quick economic returns. Clearly not many of them will have extraordinarily charming pictures of the childhood and boyhood years to revisit when they are grown up adults or old people.
Celebrated filmmaker Satyajit Ray immortalised Apu and Durga's childhood venture through kashful (kans grass) as they take their first look of a train. The little ones' journey was as much a physical step outside their boundary as a mental trip beyond their known realm. But not many could appreciate the contrast between the inroad made by a behemoth into pristine Nature.
There is no point lamenting this because things move forward, anyway. What is important here is the enduring appeal of enchanting natural sights and sounds for impressionable minds. Those stay with someone forever like a favourite album. Whenever one wants, one can browse through those indelible images and experience a time travel of one's choice. This is highly sustaining and the once-happy times work as a therapeutic cure for a troubled or wounded soul.
This is Autumn proper. Who says it is not possible for people in an advanced age to take a nostalgic journey to the childhood days full of wonders, charms and appeals? Those are the treasure troves that one would like to return to time and again in order to get nursing of one's soul. At a time when the Autumn seems to have lost its autumness, the sense of loss is made acuter which in its turn whets the appetite for rediscovering the season at its magical best marked by a clear blue sky with languid white patches of clouds sailing overhead and an inherent pensive tune pulsating within the bosom of Nature.