Throughout the summer, we all had this nagging thought in the back of our minds. Occasionally, someone would mention it, but the thought was quickly swept under the carpet of our subconscious. At the end of this utopia was the inevitable end . . . college. And while we all knew it was coming, it didn't make the end of summer any easier. I distinctly remember a group of about 30 of us, standing in the parking lot of Eat 'n Park, sobbing, hugging each other, and then sobbing some more, mourning the end of our friendships, convinced that we would never see each other again.
And then everyone came home 5 days later on Labor Day weekend. We felt kind of silly.
I can't help but feel that these past few months in Pittsburgh have been my 12th grade summer all over again. It has truly been a gift. Whenever I moved to Detroit several years ago, I never imagined I would be back in my hometown, with my family, not too far from my Michigan family, and surrounded by people who also wear Steelers shirts to church. We've all gone to parks, dinners, picnics, Kennywood. Yes, simply idyllic.
And like my Fall launch to Grove City College, I will soon be embarking on another Fall launch to a land far away. Well, not that far. But definitely a land far from Steelers jerseys at church. Similarly to September of 1997, my emotions are very mixed. I genuinely am excited to go. I want to go. I would regret it the rest of my life if I didn't go. But in the midst of all the excitement and adventure, I am truly sad to see this season end.
And perhaps that's the best way to describe these special moments in life. They are seasons. Just like the residents of Narnia learned, however, one magical season that is extended indefinitely is no kind of magic at all. It's like winter all the time without Christmas. To try and continue life in these "in between times" would ruin the unique joy that they bring. The sweetness of the season would quickly rot like a piece of fruit that's been in the back of the refrigerator drawer too long.
So where does this leave me as I once again pack my boxes from my bedroom and load a truck for a strange, new land? There is nervousness, yes. Anticipation? Yes. Sadness? Definitely. Peace? You bet. Once again, I have about every feeling on the gamut of emotions, and rather than focusing too much on these feelings, I focus on my Father who brought me to the doorstep of yet another adventure once again. I know that I am not going alone, and this time He even gave me roommates that I don't have to spend that awkward "getting to know you" phase with. :-)
Good-byes are not permanent, but much more like a "See you later." My new home will be a wonderful home, and my old homes are still there for many more "Labor Day Weekends" to come.