Can We Talk?
Okay, can I just tell you that Change and I are not best friends? I mean, when I was younger, one time I came out of my bedroom and rubbed my tired eyes into working order to see that my parents had moved the furniture. Then I cried. I screamed and threw a fit only to be assuaged by the presentation of a cookies and cream Poptart and a glass of milk. I get the necessity of it, I even appreciate it, but I don't have to like it. I became so intimately familiar with the the big front window, facing west and spilling in light at the end of the day. And the cat on the window sill. And the wonderfully irritating routine of my dog sheepishly crawling out of his bed and into mine at the same time every night. I miss greeting my older brother with a strange sort of awareness of the childhood we had and the adulthood we face.
I recently went to college -- a full six hours away from the home I've been in since birth, the school community I've been a part of since I was three, and all of the family and friends I have ever known. Please don't get me wrong; I am loving my time here. I have new friends and they are wonderful. I have a dorm that I've made my own and a lofted bed which, despite being so high that I hit my head every time I sit up, I look forward to at the end of my day. I have the same Sunday phone call routine with my parents that I've observed with my dad and grandparents all my life. And academically, I'm in my element.
But part of me keeps wondering if I am wanting to go back to give my old self awareness of just how short childhood is, or if I want to live it over, feel it again with that same ignorance I had before. If I listen hard enough, I can hear two things: my future self thinking the same things about me now, and my younger self asking me how I am. I can't please them both. There are things that I can't quite express, and frankly don't know if I should try to on this tiny little website of mine, but here I am.
I note that the sun shines differently than it did when I was younger. Back then, wet grass stuck to my feet, like the earth was new and anxious to meet me where I was. And I came home with scraped up knees, breathlessly explaining to my parents that I couldn't stay home long because I was supposed to make some sort of treat out in the garage for my neighborhood friends after a long day of biking or sledding or swimming. Then we'd watch the sun go down, be it from the snow, grass, or the top of the neighborhood sign.
I know I must sound completely ridiculous, an eighteen year old talking about how old she is, how many years she's lived.. but I am even as I become. I can now say that I hear certain songs and think of people who I loved, but are no longer here. I can use the phrase "back home". I refer to my "high school friends" and we talk on the phone once a week, like real grown ups. But when did that happen? And I'm just as desperate to see what God has planned as I am to sit one more minute in what I had before. If I close my eyes, I am every age and every emotion and glad of it all. I'd like one more half-hour drive into town, one more evening on the back patio, one more dance out in the grass, God-granted snow day, bike ride to the church, Baptist service next to my family... One more, one more, one more.
Gosh, I don't mean to be a downer. But how often do we let ourselves mourn those things that can't breathe? It's water turning cold, it's snow melting on my tongue, it's the actualization of this thing called "tomorrow". So how do I introduce myself to it?
I am a child of God, equipped for beginnings and endings by He who is the beginning and ending himself.