I've had a bad case of the not-yet-summer blues - the woes-me-I-need-fresh-air doldrums, as I sit in my windowless cubicle (aren't all cubicles windowless?) wondering why I'm not a farmer, or a ship captain, or retired.
Last week, as mid-April snow fell and my twitter feed erupted with fury, I decided to think about this life in a different way: zoomed out. Sometimes that's healthy. I thought to myself, How cool is it that everysingleday is different? Not one day will ever be the same as another.
Neat as it may be, that thought saddens my nostalgic soul. I'll never get to relive those summer teenage twilight hours with my older sister, wishing on stars and talking about boys atop our trampoline. The sound of drag racing and crickets. The glow of lightning bugs waltzing in the garden. The smell of grass my Pops had cut in perfect lines.
I'll never relive spring mushroom hunting with my grandma, trudging through the field to her woods, our rubber boots heavier with each step, accumulating mud.
Never again will I be a carefree, gap-toothed kid, oblivious of NBC Nightly News headlines. I'll never turn in a field trip permission slip to Miss P. for a class trip to Marengo Cave, signed by my Momma.
I'll never have a backyard tent sleepover with 10 of my best gals on the night of a meteor shower.
And that makes me teary.
Nostalgia monsters attack at weak moments, forcing rose-colored glasses on the eyes of our memory. And maybe sometimes that’s a good thing.
But living in the past isn't. Might as well be a zombie, walking dead, hurting people.
We should migrate. We must.
Here’s where it gets exciting: the future doesn't have to be a scary thing (although the Brian Williams sure makes me feel that way every night at 6:00). We have hope that summer is coming. And when it’s horribly humid in July and there are no good sports on TV, we have hope of autumn and football.
Our trampoline was destroyed by a tornado – I’m sure its rusty scraps are scattered about the county. But I still have my sister, and we still wish on stars and talk about boys (two, in particular).
When I’m a grandma with hurting hips, you better believe I’ll pull on my rubber boots and drag my grand-kids into the woods for some mushroom hunting. I’ll sign permission slips someday (in a complicated, non-replicable way). And I’ll host backyard tent sleepovers for my kid(s) and their friends. And I’ll buy supplies for Reeses s’mores because they're far superior to Hersheys.
Do you ever miss what used to be? I think, at one time or another, we all do.
As the seasons of our lives change, we have to continue on the journey.
(Queue The Byrds.)
With only 24 years under my belt, I already feel like life is in continuous fast-forward. I’m standing still on an airport people mover, digging my heels in, but just can’t stop the forward motion (Queue Relient K).
The past is safe, the future: scary. It could hold tragedy. The c-word. Broken relationships. And it will hold death.
But because of a past death – the death of (say it with me) JESUS – we can live this temporary, quick, beautifully broken life knowing there are greater things ahead. Far greater.
You've heard it before, I know. That doesn't make it any less true.
Are you having a spring struggle? Let's talk.