on missing before you leave

We push open our creaky garden door, duck our heads to fit under the stone entrance, and step into the periwinkle smell of lilacs and the breeze of the neighbors' barbeque. Walker closes the gate and the robin that inhabits our compost heap flaps up in a rush. We are home


for the next three and half weeks. Behind the everyday walks to the grocery, the moments when I lean over to smell the blossoms, there is always a tinge of loss, knowing we'll be leaving this place soon, knowing it is silly to buy new bottle of vanilla extract right now.


We were talking about loss last night, how strange and incomprehensible it is to start living without something, how life goes on in spite of a dog dying (we watched Marley and Me, and I cried), in spite of leaving a whole life in a different country. I catch myself missing St Andrews before we've left, and don't know if this is good because I'm appreciating it more now, or bad, because I'm letting a misconception of the future taint the present. I think it's a little of both.


When Walker and I were dating and he'd visit me in Tennessee, I always hated his last morning there. The dread of him leaving overpowered everything else, and I'd just want to get the leaving over with. The past 4 years, I've left a place I love every year. In the end, right before I leave is the worst part of leaving. When I woke up this morning and realized how short the time was, I realized we are in that part.


What I forget in those last weeks of being in a place is the someplace new ahead. When I get to the someplace new, everything I was going to miss becomes just a few things, and when I do miss, it is not so painful because I have gained. I will miss where I am sitting under a warm lamp on a breezy Saturday morning billowing with fresh air. But, not as often as I miss it now.


Life replaces itself, and good gifts are not limited by location. The coming good is what I forget in the fray of today. Believing life will go straight downhill as soon as our plane leaves Edinburgh is a lie, and one that is worth fighting against.


Instead of dreading the future and the leaving, there is hope. This week, I've been given a glass of that---I'm praying for oceans more. Happy weekend!