Sunday, April 23, 2017

I'm Certain I will Miss the Palms

I’m Certain I will Miss the Palm Trees…

I keep trying to wrap my head around it. To grasp onto the truth of it. To somehow process the fact that I’ve lived in Mexico for almost two years. That already it’s time to transition again.
It seems impossible.
It feels impossible.

I can so vividly remember that frantic morning realizing I had left my passport in a copy machine at the FedEx store just hours before I was to board a plane and move to Mexico. I remember my tiny thrift store bottle of African beach rocks shattering on the floor of the Pittsburgh airport as I fought to hold myself together just until I was out of my family’s view. 
I remember the symbolism as it shattered. 
That Africa was not for now. 
For now I was to leave that dream behind for a different one. 
Now it was time to step into uncertainty and time to trust.
Hugs. Tears. More hugs and so many more tears.
Lincoln refusing to get back into his travel carrier.
Complete breakdown in the Chicago airport. (An airport I intentionally planned to stop in on the way. My favorite airport.)
What was I doing!? Moving to Mexico? Teaching Preschool….?
One hour delay in Houston.
Two hours. Three. Five.
A long, much needed chat with my best friend in the whole world.
And then we were there.
Lincoln and I in our brand new life. That tiny, tiled, upstairs apartment with that big beautiful window with the classically Mexican view. My surprise bedroom.
It seriously seems like a week ago or so.

I remember the preparation.
Convincing my heart to change directions. Sorting through things and fitting my life and my heart into a few suitcases. 
The goodbyes.

Here we are full circle.
 It seems to be a smaller circle this time.
Back where we started.
More preparing. More transitioning. More heart steering.
So many more goodbyes. Hugs. Tears.
Uncertainty once again.

And I just keep looking up at the palm trees. 
Watching their great green leaves sway against the azul. Listening to them dance in the scorching wind.
I remember how they used to make me feel. A constant state of tropical. Like every day was vacation. The sight of them just made me giddy. 
Sandals in February a funny but lovely idea.
And then somewhere along the way, the swaying and the dancing and the sandals and the sun all just became normal.
The everyday ordinary blur of life.

Once the newness blurred into the normal, my heart began to miss what was behind. It learned to long for things that had once been ordinary. Like Autumn and easily accessible pumpkin everything Sweater weather and Target. For random rainy days and free, ice cold water. For a quick walk to the city center or a card in the mailbox. To send birthday packages or make simple calls to friends and family. To eat at Panera and then browse the Old Navy clearance racks. Family dinners on Sunday afternoons (even though I hated pretty much every place that we ate.) Four seasons. A change in the weather. The trees. My home church. 
New places make us miss the old ones. New people make us miss the ones who aren't here with us. New scenery seems to paint a more viivid picture of the old in our heads and our hearts. 
Ohio. If I'm being honest, I never thought I would miss Ohio. 
And perhaps I don't. Perhaps I miss the parts of me that are there but didn't quite make their way to here. The people that couldn't come along. 

Goodbye sheds a different light on things.
Even the palm trees.
Goodbyes force us to look a little closer.
To reflect.
To wonder.
To gather snapshots in our hearts of how we want to remember.

I am certain I will miss them when we are no longer together.

I will be more aware of the palm trees when I am surrounded by pines.
I will crave mango more intensely every Monday afternoon when it's nowhere to be found or a zilion dollars when it is. And tacos. Oh how I will miss the tacos 
I will long to remember Spanish. To speak it, when I am beginning to forget.
I will wish for sunshine (even the scorching afternoon sort) when I am covered by clouds once again. 
Someday not so far from now, everything will be new again. Sort of. And then all of the things that had become ordinary and usual and perhaps even annoying about here will look different in my memories. More vivd. More desirable. 
Because they are gone. 
Like the palm trees. 
I'm certain I will miss the palm trees. 
All that I've gathered beneath them. 
The person I've become surrounded by them.


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