Just like that, spring is upon us here in Massachusetts. And just like that, I find that I have less than a week before this chapter of my life closes and a new one begins.
In my heart, grief, fear, excitement, and gratitude are stirred together into some strange, uncomfortable brew. In the midst of all my logistical preparations, the past few weeks have also been a time of making new friends and strengthening the bonds with others. I have been joyful and warmed by the precious moments of togetherness and aching with sadness at knowing the goodbyes will happen all too quickly.
But the goodbyes must happen, one by one, and one by one they’re becoming easier. Goodbye to the frogs, and the vernal pools. Goodbye to the mud and the thaw and the snow. Goodbye to wool coats and five blankets on my bed. Goodbye to my Bible study and my Monday night prayer group, to woodstoves and the crazy demon cats I have been house-sitting with. Goodbye to Boston and Hartford and Springfield, and the Connecticut River and the Oxbow, and skunk cabbage and the pathetic, lovely bumps of land we in the east call mountains. (Sorry Mt. Washington. You’re the exception.)
Starting in six days, I will be saying hello to the open road and a brand new kind of adventure. Many times over the past years, I’ve daydreamed about climbing in my car and just driving away. I never expected I actually would do it one day! So hello to dreams becoming reality! I’ll be driving for a little over two weeks before I reach my new home in California, and I hope that in the evenings I’ll have time to post quick updates and some photos from my travels.
It’s been a struggle over the past month. I’ve felt stagnant and trapped as the winter seemed like it would never end. Sometimes I felt like I would burst under the weight of it. Silently I prayed that the spring peepers and the wood frogs would start their song before I had to drive away, that the flowers and buds would begin to bloom. It’s been a late spring, and only in the past few days has even the ground started to change from white and brown to green. Now that the spring is here, I feel ready, finally. There are still last-minute details to panic over, but I am learning to trust that even those things are part of my education in being patient, and faithful, and watchful for God’s ever-present grace.