"I think the change would do you good, and you are always so interested in Mr. Sherlock Holmes' cases."
There is a line we'd all love to hear in our lives, delivered by Watson's spouse at the beginning of "The Boscombe Valley Mystery." The advice is echoed repeatedly in an old Sheryl Crow song, but with a mention of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde and no nod to our favorite detective. "A change would do you good."
Sometimes we need a little help with change. Routine is comfortable. The thing that made you happy yesterday has a good chance to make you happy today. "You are always so interested in Mr. Sherlock Holmes' cases." Yet, even that interest can turn into a dutiful slog -- in that opening to "Boscombe Valley," John Watson has not been living with Sherlock Holmes, going on case after case with the detective. He's working as a doctor, with the domestic life of a married man. Sherlock Holmes is a happy change for Watson. A good change.
Sometimes we get jostled out of our life's train tracks by big impact changes, and very few folks haven't had some of those in the past couple years. We've seen a lot of good come out of some of those, too, new options, the chance to see what the important things were (and the things that might have not been so important). Change comes unasked sometimes, and we just have to make the best of it. But in Watson's case, on that June Saturday in 1889, he chose to spin the wheel of Sherlock Holmes and see what adventure awaited.
And while we don't have Sherlock Holmes himself beckoning us to take a break for a little adventure, we do have that lovely creation, recently started, "The 2021 Doyle's Rotary Coffin Treasure Hunt." From it's earliest moments, Sherlockiana has been about the random celebration of Sherlock Holmes, which takes as many forms as there are different personalities in the people doing the celebrating. The sixty item list of suggested things to get photographic evidence of in that list ran an amazing gamut from shopping for books to meeting a new Sherlockian to creating art or a cocktail. Cosplay. Movie viewing. Research. Generosity. Nostalgia. And something in there is definitely going to be a change from your normal Sherlockian/Holmesian routines. A good change.
In a hobby that will, hopefully, be with you your entire life, you're going to go through some different phases of interest, exhausting one field, moving to another. Personally, I avoided Sherlockian chronology like the plague for a decade or two, and now I'm creating a monthly newsletter on the topic. As Watson well knew, you never know where you'll wind up when you're following Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
And sometimes, it can be to a change that will do you good.