We’ve all had that sinking sensation when we try to revisit an old haunt, only to find it pales in comparison to our own memories of it. In Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold expresses this emotion far more eloquently:
It is the part of wisdom never to revisit a wilderness, for the more golden the lily, the more certain that someone has gilded it. To return not only spoils a trip, but tarnishes a memory. It is only in the mind that shining adventure remains forever bright.
Or more cynically, we have the words of the Qohelet:
Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
— Ecclesiastes 7:10, NRSV