It was almost 80 degrees and humid when I arrived in Minneapolis earlier this week. Two days later, summer had taken an about face. This morning was in the mid-40s, sunny, and clear. As I left my hotel, I felt the brisk air wash over me, and I was reminded of something I hadn’t felt in a long time — the changing of the seasons.
As a lifelong Californian who had spent four difficult years in Boston, I used to scoff at my friends who would pine over seasons. “We have seasons too,” I would argue. “It just doesn’t get miserably cold.” I understood what they meant, but I could never relate.
Until this morning.
I’m not sure why this feeling of transition felt so pronounced this morning, and why I felt so nostalgic over it. Maybe it was the cab ride to the airport, whizzing by and gazing as long as I could at the Mississippi River and the beautiful buildings along its bank, which a friend had guided me through the night before.
Maybe it was the sensation of starting something new, of planting a seed, then immediately leaving. I’ve traveled so much over the years and I’m connected to so many people and places through the magic of technology, I’ve become practiced at ignoring how disorienting it feels. I love that my relationships can transcend place, but I also value place more than I ever have.
Maybe it’s where I am in life, the ongoing uncertainty of a career change that’s still in progress and the recognition that I’m not as driven as I used to be. I still love to learn, to create, to do, but I also value the pause more than I ever have.
Maybe it’s because I’m flying on September 11, and I can’t help but to reflect on the past 13 years and how much everything has changed in the world.
I don’t know why I’m feeling the way I am. All I know is that the moment is here, and that I’m just about ready to seize it — to acknowledge where I am, to mourn and celebrate what’s passed, to look forward to something new. Maybe that’s why my friends are so willing to endure miserable winters and blazing summers — for those four brief moments every 12 months when we’re gently, but firmly reminded to breathe.
I think I get it now.