It takes an embarrassing amount of effort to crack open the windows in our third-floor apartment. My dog chases the sun as it spills over the hard wood floors. As I stand by the window breathing in the sweet aroma of spring, I hear the silence of winter melting away. I observe the noise of keys dangling as people walk, birds hopping from branch to branch and music pouring from other open windows. I begin to prep my simple breakfast of eggs and toast, smiling as I listen to someone singing to Billie Holiday’s Easy Living.
I prepare my cup of matcha green tea to help wake me for the day. The bright green color mirroring the regenerating grass below. Closing my eyes, I let the sunshine and the rich aroma of green tea envelop me and calm my rushing mind. My to-do list will be there whether or not I fuss over it.
My husband and I are preparing for our second cross-country move in two years. Our stay in the east coast is slowly coming to an end, and we have a few weeks to tie up loose ends while preparing for our next adventure. I take a moment to think about how much life can change within a couple years. I look out and think how much I’ve seen this beautiful oak tree by our window stir and bend with every season. How much I’ve felt my heart grow and stretch; how strangers became the friends I’ll miss so much. When the rushing stops, I start to realize how much it hurts me to say goodbye to the home we’ve created in such a short time. I feel the pang in my chest, giving me just a taste of how much I’ll miss those who’ve opened their arms and so generously shared their lives with us.
Taking another sip, I sift through my emotions, careful not to silence or suppress them with the busyness. Careful to just wait and listen. It takes a lot of effort and reminding to stop thinking about all the stuff I need to do – just for a few minutes. Goodbyes will come. New jobs and programs and communities will be waiting for us, and for now, I just want to relish in this time. The calm before the boxes and U-Hauls and gas stations in North Dakota. I want to be careful not to rush through this next month. I want to savor each moment, and it’s a lot harder than it seems.