Monday night, we backed out of our driveway for the last time.
All day we’d been working so hard with the movers to load the truck, keep children out of the way, and then cleaned the house, and finally, packed suitcases with all the leftovers for our flight back east. And life had been that sort of whirlwind for days. I’d been thinking about packing, and about missing friends, and had scarcely spent a minute’s time to realize I was about to leave to many special memories.
I stepped out our front door into the dark night to drop one more stamped envelope into the mail. Lingering traces of afternoon’s warm sun scented the air — a fragrance I suddenly realized I’d grown to love. End-of-day traffic illuminated the street with red and yellow lights, and palm trees waved high above everything else, outline of black against a dusky sky.
This had been Evening for almost three years, and now it is no more.
My head fell upon a sister’s pillow last night, my boys and I nestled safely under a favorite red roof, and my mind wandered to a stuccoed bungalow far away: once home, now empty; once ours, but ours no longer. We lived life there. Baby grew to boy. We became a family of four. I hung diapers on a line hundreds of time; baked hundreds of loaves of bread; paced bedroom floor through long nights of sick babes; cuddled all together for family movie nights; celebrated Easters and Thanksgivings, birthdays and Valentines Days; hosted new faces who became good friends; laughed and cried, fought and made up, loved more and better than before. So much life.
So yes, I feel like I’m leaving part of my heart behind, but that’s not a bad thing: I poured my heart into those three years of living, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Good-bye to a wonderful season of sunshine and amazing coast lines, hip cities and easy suburban living, choo-choo trains and constant air traffic (what the boys will miss!), and regular walks to Trader Joe’s. (I was going to include wonderful new friends in that list, but I’m not saying good-bye to them. I hope they’ll be a part of this next season of life, too!)
And hello to a season yet to unfold — where Evening looks like silver moon on vast fields of snow, a new house awaits us, waiting to be filled with memories of its own, and where we look for God to use us and change us in ways we never expected.