Life is a string of anticipation and longing. Hope and impatience are far too intertwined.
Even the happiest and most fulfilling moments of my life seem to be filled with some kind of anticipation for something else. Something that is next. The distraction of the future always seems to blur the present.
The breathtaking beauty of each season fills me with a great sense of responsibility to somehow soak it in. To capture it. To truly appreciate the fleeting perfection of what is all around me. The older I get, the more I try to hold on to the images, smells, feelings of beauty. But part of me is always longing for the next thing...
...Winter... warm houses that smell like candles, Christmas lights, family, snow transforming trees into icy lace, nostalgic music, black and white classic movies, presents, candle light concerts and church traditions...
Winter is next. And I am already imagining my red dining room lit with the glow of a Christmas tree, Ryan's train set circling around the base of the tree, stockings hanging from the banister covered with garland and berries, and all the windows filled with candles. But today is a perfect November day. The sky is just a little hazy, but still yellow and warm from the sun. Most of the trees are bare, but leaves seem to be everywhere, floating around like falling snow...only in rich, earthy colors.
Even more than my fascination with the changing seasons...is my longing for the next part of life. Already, so much of me belongs to my child. I know that I still don't even begin to comprehend how much I will love this baby. But I'm beginning to know. And the agony of not being able to see or hold this life that has taken over my body is excruciating and wonderful. I want to at least call her by name...or him. To talk to him and begin to imagine a son or a daughter.
Yet I know that my peaceful days and nights with Ryan will soon change forever. And that frightens me. I love the ease of our relationship, the spontanious ways we spend our time together.
And as much as I fantasize about being at home during the day next fall...giving up many of my work responsibilities and stresses, I love teaching every day. I love hearing smiling six year olds shout "Mrs. Corbin!!" and overwhelm me with hundreds of daily hugs. My students have become "my kids." Like a parent, I worry about my middle and high schoolers and all the decisions they will make about themselves and their futures and their friends. I see them every day, and I love sharing my life with them. I haven't made any solid decisions about what I will keep and what I will give up, but I know that whatever pieces are cut will be deeply missed. Though it probably won't compare with my new role, I will miss what I do now.
So I try to soak it in. Even the drudgery and the exhausting long days. I know that what is next is different and wonderful and beyond my understanding. There are very few moments when my thoughts are not consumed with the future...and my anticipation. But I don't want to miss the beauty of right now either.