At this time and this place
“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” —Azar Nafisi
Now that Jeff is retired, we can sell our Alexandria townhome and take up a less peripatetic existence in York County. That’s what we plan to do, gradually, but letting go of our part-time home here is more difficult than we imagined it might be.
Strange, really. One could argue that we should be eager to leave. We’ve had the most difficult years of our lives here; one heartbreak after another, devastating news followed by medical trauma followed by losses of loved ones and shattered illusions of permanence and security.
Yet there has been so much beauty too, and even joy. Our two grandsons came to life during this time, as did this blog. We’ve somehow survived more than we dreamed was in store for us, and managed to salvage countless moments of light happiness and laughter tucked in between the dreary days, glowing like tiny lighthouses, showing us that there really was shelter in the storm.
We’ve been so grateful for our kind and considerate neighbors here, and their delightful children and precious dogs and cats, and the lovely cherry blossoms and blooming gardens that somehow flourish in the crowded residential areas so close to a huge city. We’re thankful, too, for the friendships that have blossomed amid the chaos, and the ties that have been formed or renewed as people who care about us have enclosed us in a cocoon of compassion, prayers, and warm expressions of support.
Just as one can never step in the same river twice, no person or place can stay the same. Change is inevitable. The best we can hope for is accompanying growth, fond memories and bright new opportunities. Whenever we look back on our time here, I know we might wonder how on earth we managed to endure much of what the years brought. But we’ll smile, too, thinking of all the blessings. Thanks to each of you for being among them!
Even when we are not planning an upcoming move from one location to another, all of us are continually leaving behind the past and moving into new phases of life. What will you miss about this time and place? What will you hold close in heart today, as you savor each moment?