comments 32

These are the good old days

After a month in The Netherlands reconnecting with family and old friends, tonight I’m leaving on a jet plane for home. I’ve said many goodbyes over the past 25 years but this time I’m feeling particularly melancholic. To have a life in more than one place is a gift for which I am very grateful but at times like this, I feel torn. Being here always takes me on a journey through past lives and a rollercoaster of emotions. Amsterdam in particular is where my heart feels most at home. It’s the city where I fell in love, truly felt comfortable in my own skin and learned to be a mother. Maybe it’s a symptom of growing older and understanding the impermanence of life that I’m struggling more and more with letting go and with the feeling that I still have unfinished business. Often the heart just knows what the mind struggles to understand.

This time around, I’ve been thinking a lot more about my first years here when every day was full of new possibilities, when I let my heart lead the way and I was in my flow. Many times when life’s been tricky or when I’ve felt stuck, I’ve yearned for those ‘good old days’. But I’ve come to understand that even though looking back helps us to understand ourselves, life is best lived in the present. That these are the good old days, right here right now.

If travel has shown me anything, it is how to go from doing to being. That wonder and beauty can be found in the most unlikely places if you learn to see with travellers eyes. To be in the moment with curiosity and non judgement. And like nature, it has gifted me perspective, to look at my life from a distance and to take the opportunity to connect deeply with myself and others.

The goodbyes are bitter sweet this time but I’m journeying home with the excitement of new possibilities, renewed perspective and a commitment to be lead more by my heart. There’s a Sioux Indian saying that the longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart. It’s taken me some time to journey back to my own heart but I now know that life can always be rich and beautiful if I let myself be drawn by the pull of what I really love. That if I let my heart lead the way, I’ll end up where I need to be. Because in the words of my favourite poet, Mary Oliver, “I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.” So I’m reclaiming this song as my anthem. It takes me immediately into my flow and has always helped me find my wings and fly. La Vie en Rose and all my love. x Amanda




  1. kees says

    Once again , I am awestruck by you. Just like in the good old days…

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thanks love, you know how it goes too. Bittersweet. x

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thanks Sam, you know that feeling too no doubt. Much love xxx

  2. Brian h says

    That is such a succinct and beautiful article that resonates with me. Love the song choice too.

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thanks Brian, for reading and for your lovely feedback. Such an awesome song, takes me immediately back to my youth. xxxx

  3. Beanca J. Heller says

    Lieve Amanda !

    Volg je hart dan ben je altijd thuis, liefs en een dikke knuf


  4. Lindy Asher says

    Thank you Manda so beautifully written and so thought provoking.
    Brought tears to my eyes .

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thanks Lindy. It was probably the easiest post I’ve written, it poured out on my last in Holland, i was in the flow. Much love. xxx

  5. Daphne says

    Hi mum
    I thought that this blog post in particular was so beautiful I felt like I was right there on the spot I don’t know if that is the way to put it but way I am trying to say is it was so beautiful I don’t know how to put it.
    Lots of love from your darling daughter Daphne (not to brag!)

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thanks you so much darling. I love you. xxx Mummy

  6. Richard says

    Cool words Cookie, sounds like you and Kees had a fantastic trip down memory lane and making new ones. Enjoy Ozneyland on your return

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thanks Richard. You’d know exactly what I mean. Get’s harder and harder to say the goodbyes. x

  7. Cris says

    Heartfelt and raw – glad our paths crossed in Amsterdam, my other home too – enjoy you ‘flow’ and look forward to our path crossing again. Heel veel liefs xxx

    Ps the song has always been a driving force for another dear Amsterdam best friend – but I didn’t completely get it in those good old days, but now I can! Bedankt schat ?

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thank’s Cris and yes I have such good memories of our time together in Amsterdam. So lucky to have met you too. La vie en rose to us all! xA

  8. Here is to continuing to explore the world, inside & out (& often through others) & pausing to reflect – thank you – much love xox

  9. Claudia says

    This has resonated a lot with me. And the good byes get harder and harder.
    Lots of love. C

    • Amanda Cooke says

      They do don’t they. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Much love. xxx

  10. Kareena Hodgson says

    Thanks cookie. Great read. Relevant to many of us at this time of our lives. When I say that I mean “the good old days” right now. Love you. X

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thanks for your support love. What I love most about this blogging business is the common ground that comes up, the connections between our experiences, so good to share it. x

  11. Mary says

    Thank you Amanda for your open and honest writing, I admire the way you are able to put into words what most just think. Well done, love and warm wishes for the rest of your journey.

    • Amanda Cooke says

      Thanks so much Mary, it’s very therapeutic too! Much love and warm wishes to you. x Amanda

Leave a Reply to Amanda Cooke Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *