Friday, May 02, 2008

The [Simple] Life

Every morning they are waiting, somewhat anxiously, at the gate. They try to find a way over it, around it, maybe even under it.

What if there's a secret tunnel? One of them might say. Maybe we could dig a hole so we don't have to wait anymore! The other may suggest.

And then, at last, a car pulls up and triggers the gate opener. They run carefree to their bus stop and are on their way to grade school in no time, with dreams of the impending summer dancing around inside their heads.

Oh, when life was simpler...

The past few mornings, I have seen this pair of little boys at the gate of my condominium complex. They seemed to come out of nowhere this morning, running around my car from the back. One of them waved and smiled at me as they scampered on by. I think it is safe to say it made my morning. I cannot help but wonder what mischief they'll stir up in their little boy states of being. For a moment, I was taken back to the many mornings I walked a few blocks to school and the light-hearted fun I had on the shores of Lake Michigan in the summer (and the winter, if we were hearty enough to brave the face-numbing wind and snow).

And I wonder if I have lost that child-like view of the world altogether...where the most pressing thing on my mind was getting my afternoon snack and going fishing with my cousin or swimming in the lake. Working 8-5 every day has been a very interesting experience for me these past several months. The only time I worked full time before was when I was a camp counselor. My office was the beach, the woods, the stage, the sweet shop, the teen was glorious. After all my room and board were taken out, I probably made around $2/hour. But what it lacked in compensation, it made up for it in experience and some of the fondest memories I have yet to make.

This is the time of year that I would usually be packing up my dorm room and heading off for some summer adventure. But now, I find myself settled into a place with three (incredible) roommates and a network of friends that is getting closer to me all the while. I am bidding farewell to many of those who are graduating from school this year (I am living in the city where I attended school) and tearfully saying goodbye to one of the best friends I have ever known. She's going to Colorado. I'm in Oklahoma. What's wrong with this picture?

A thousand miles seems pretty far, but they've got planes and trains and cars. I'd walk to you if I had no other way.

I think my discontent is only temporary. Transition is something I have always hated vehemently. I realized the other day that I am used to it, but that still doesn't dismiss the fact that it hurts all the same. Our "twentysomething" years are marked by transitions like this, and uncertainty of if and when we'll all end up back together again. Right now, I am purposing to enjoy the next few days and embrace that child-like perspective again. I need to remember that it is alright to live in the moment, to throw our cares to the wind and enjoy the day...and to send these people off in style. It will be a whirlwind weekend, and next week, I will be here and they will be gone. God and I are working on making me okay with that fact.

In all this, I realize...

Life can be found in the seizing of the moment and the dismissal of tomorrow's worries.


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