Wednesday, July 24, 2013
It's but little good you'll do a-watering the last year's crops. ~ George Eliot, "Adam Bede", 1859
Isn't this photo beautiful? It's a picture of a lake that's in my hometown in Washington State. It's around 2500 miles from where I live now so I highly doubt I'll ever see it again. You know, when you get to my age...almost 60...not that it's that old...you begin to think of Time in a different perspective. At 20, 60 seemed like the Dark Ages to me. Now, being almost that age myself, 20 seems like I was barely out of diapers. And to think I got married at that age! Mercy. Now, there's a scary thought.
But...back to perspectives...when we moved to Michigan a few years ago, as I boarded the jet to fly here, I never even began to think that I might never make it back to Portland again. We learned about the possibility of moving in November 2010 and moved in March 2011, so it was a very whirlwind experience...coming here in January to find a house in 5 days, then going 'home' to start packing and organizing the move, sorting thru 28 years of memories and belongings. Realizing how few 'things' were actually important enough to drag 2/3 of the way across the country with us. I know people move every day, and sometimes much further distances than we did, but if you had any clue what creatures of habit Dear Hubby and I were beforehand! We shocked everyone who's known us for years when we suddenly announced we were heading for the upper Midwest. I think we shocked ourselves most of all, taking this midlife adventure of a lifetime in our later 50s. And now, here we are 2 1/2 years later and we are so settled, so happy here. The funny thing about it, it's hard to believe we ever lived anywhere else. Michigan is truly home to us.
Even so, every now and then a memory or a photo or a comment posted on Facebook by a friend or family member who still lives in the Northwest will draw me up short and I'll think, "Wow...you know, I may never see Lizzee again"....my best friend since 1967. Or the lake I have pictured up above. Or my brothers. Or the house we lived in for 28 years. And I'll have a twinge that I can't quite put into words. It's not homesickness or remorse in moving so far away. No, it's more like a bittersweetness. Kind of like how I feel when I think of my years of caring for my grandsons on a daily basis. They'll be a thing of the past, now that they'll both be in school for full days come the Fall. An ache in the center of my heart. But it passes, and I get caught up in the here-and-now, which is a life full of family and love and discovering this part of the country, something I never dreamed I'd do in a million years. I have made new friends that will never take the place of the old ones, but will add a new richness to my life. I will stand on the shores of Lake Huron or Lake Michigan or Lake Superior...and I will think of the many, many trips I made to the shorelines of the Pacific Ocean. And I will miss the tang of salt on my lips but I will lift my head up and revel in the fresh breezes blowing off these magnificent lakes.
Life is a series of give-and-takes, isn't it? We give up one thing, only to have it replaced by another. It doesn't mean the past is lost. It just means there's room in the present and the future for many more blessings. You just keep yourself open to them.