Thursday, October 8, 2009
It's snowing for the first time this season! Tiny little flakes falling gently from the sky, a beautiful contrast to the red and orange leaves on the trees around our apartment complex. It feels like autumn just got here, could it be we only get a week of it? I hope not. I like the snow and all, but I would like to take at least a couple walks in the crisp (not freezing) air and admire the deep fiery hues appearing on the trees everywhere. Plus, isn't it nice to be able to go out and wear a sweater and scarf without adding on the down coat, gloves, and hat? It's just kind of a magical feeling.
Reminds me of each fall from when I was five to eighteen years old, when school would start up again. When I was that age (how old do I sound saying that??? Most likely much older than 31) the new school year always started in September, not mid-August like all the crazy schools do now. It just ruins things if you have to wear your worn out, faded summer clothes to the first week of school, doesn't it? It just doesn't feel right carrying a stiff new backpack filled with new trapper keepers (do they still sell those?), newly sharpened pencils (oh yeah, they have those automatic clicker pencils now), and clear zip-up pencil pouches inside your My Little Pony binder if you don't have new clothes to match them.
Ok, now that I've TOTALLY dated myself reminiscing, I am getting all nostalgic for the days of old, when it was exciting to walk into a new class with a new teacher, expecting to learn all kinds of exciting things and expecting it to be fun. I still get that jittery yet excited feeling in my stomach when the first crisp breeze appears out of nowhere, kissing my face and blowing my hair around. I am transported back to fourth grade. I think of fall and new classmates, inside recesses when we pulled out the Connect Four and played Heads Up, Seven Up. I think of my first crush, Michael, and how sad it was when I found out he had a crush on Lisa from Alaska. I think of playing on the bars so much that I had callouses on the inside of my palms, and I remember wishing I could do the "death drop" without hands off the high bar. I think of my best friend and how we'd go to each others houses after school and eat junk food (usually when our moms weren't looking). I remember how dating was a cloud of mystery in my head-- what was it exactly? Leslie and Dan dated but all I knew about that was they talked on the phone. It didn't match up to what I thought dating should look like... Which was... umm... I actually don't know. I had no idea.
Such innocent days! It feels like a million years ago. Yet, as I sit here inside my apartment, cozy and warm , watching the whiteness fall down, I feel a much younger version of me, right here, sitting cross-legged inside my soul. To her, the world is safe, and the worst hurt she feels is not being liked back by her crush, or being grounded, or not getting a good part in Nutcracker. Yes, bad things happen (like her parents divorcing shortly thereafter) but even through that her ten year old mind filters everything through innocent glasses. I want to tell her something. I want to tell her to never get jaded, to not rush through the wonderful feeling of a crisp breeze, to not give up on the goal of doing something daring on the bars. I want to tell her that no matter what life throws her, it's ok to cry but don't let the tears build up into a calloused heart. Don't lose heart, little Gina. Don't allow pain to dictate what you will and will not reach for. There is Someone watching out for you and pulling for you, wanting you to fly free in the direction of your joy. Let go of doubt and fly. This is what you were created for.