I went out for a walk in the sunshine in Weston-super-Mare on Friday. I saw some building works and for some reason it reminded me of the time I was in one of my favourite seaside haunts last summer. I used to visit this place regularly as a child on holiday and it became a very special, even magical, place.
When I was there last summer I saw that some building works were under way, and the old beach huts, one of which my parents used to rent during our holidays there, had been pulled down and the grassy hill behind was partly fenced off and being carved up.
My reaction to this surprised me as I reflected on it afterwards. What have they done to my childhood?! I was quite angry and felt a sense of loss as this place, which seemed to have been the same for so many years, was undergoing a transformation. The old wooden beach huts I guess were rotting and were becoming a safety hazard. Now they were gone and in their place would be concrete ones.
Change means discarding the old in favour of the new. But the difficulty comes if the old was comfortable or familiar. To lose something like that can cause a real sense of grief, especially if the new is unknown or even scary. It can be really hard to let go.
Change can affect us if our sense of security is tied up with whatever is being lost. Losing a job, losing a relationship, losing mobility. These are just some of the things which can affect any of us at any time. The good news is that it is possible to embrace change, and talking with someone about it can really help.
You never know – I might even get to see the benefits of concrete beach huts.