Winter has set in early where I am. A sudden cold wind blowing down when I least expected it. I am shivering at the chill in the air, unused to life outside of the warmth I've grown used to. Perhaps it will warm up, but if it does, it will only be for a few days again, and then the cold will become permanent.
Time to pack away things, to clean up gardens, to close down a chapter in my life. To prepare for the cold. Nothing will stop it. Seasons come and seasons go, and this is on its way out. It is getting cold. I think it is the earliness of it all that surprised me. I did not expect it - not to wake up to the cold north wind.
It is a time to look at the things I wanted to do and sort through them. I stare at this box on my table... something I wanted to go through this summer.... still sitting...
There are different ways of cleaning up. At times I clean up by sorting through things, finding the precious and keeping it; throwing the rest away. My husband cleans differently. His idea is that there is little you will miss, so throw it all away. Not usually my favorite, but as I stare at this box, I think it is time. The winter is setting in, and I will not carry my box any longer. It is time to take it to the docks and throw it unopened in the ice cold water. The current will carry it away, and I will dust off my table.
I know I will lose some precious things, but they are things I have not had for long, so I will not miss them. I will throw away the uncried tears, the pain, the joy, everything in that box. It is time to clean out the house and prepare for another season.
I've lost something. I will lose more, but life is like that. We can't keep everything, not even always the things precious to us. I only wish life had a warning of these things - these losses. It is the suddenness of their hitting that is hard to deal with. If only we had time to say goodbye.
One of the hardest things I dealt with in my young life, - but promise you won't laugh- was another loss I never had the chance to see coming. Actually it was hard, but not that hard.... really, but when I look at saying goodbye without warning, with no chance to hang on to comforting things, this comes to mind. You see, my life was one of constant turnover. We lived here then there then there and then there. Nothing stayed the same.... no friends, no scenery, no people, nothing. But there was one thing I had from the time I finished kindergarten until I was 14 years old. Then, suddenly, without warning, it was gone. It was a simple thing.... one you will laugh about, but it was the only constant in my changing world, something that was mine and none other.
It was my sleeping bag. I guess in time it became like a baby's blankie. But it was mine. It was wonderful... warm, soft, fuzzy on the inside... and it was mine. I had it whereever we moved. When it was cold, it kept me warm. When floors were hard, it was my mattrass. When we had a bed, it was my comforter - spread over my bed. I loved the thing... something constant in my changing life.
Then, on one move, imagine my shock to find it gone. Gone. Nowhere. My mom shrugged when I asked... she thought we wouldn't need it where we were going, so why waste the space.
I understood her logic. Really. But no one told me. I never got to snuggle it one more time, to lay my head down on it and remember all we've been through together. I missed it. Still do.
I've shopped for sleeping bags since. I finally broke down and bought one. But it is not the same. I shop for them by reaching inside - are they fuzzy? I haven't found one yet, and I miss its comfort. I miss its steady presence in my life.
Don't worry - I've grown up since and I am ok. But I was just shocked. I wish I had been given the chance to say goodbye.
This last week has been a time of loss for me. The season has changed, the cold winds blow, and I miss what I used to have. I didn't know it was going to be gone.
I never got to say goodbye.
I'm ok. I will continue to be ok. But it is just the awful suddenness that is hard....
It seems this life God has called us to is like that more than I want. I think it is something that will continue to hurt.
I've lost something. The seasons have changed, the wind is blowing cold, and I shiver not so much for the lack of warmth, but from the suddenness of where I find myself.