When a Chapter Ends
I have always enjoyed where I live. It is a dusty single lane road that seems to stretch for miles in both directions. The neighbors are quite a ways away and the house is tucked away in the middle of soaring pines and spreading hickory trees. More often than not, the only company we get are the animals in the forest. When a plane passes miles overhead, I always turn to look, because the sound is foreign; I am used to birds and crickets.
In spring the geese flock into the swamp and set up gosling factories. The turkeys are out picking at the newly turned fields looking for bugs or corn from the previous year. The deer are teaching their new fawns the safe paths through the woods.
It is a good home, built for my personality. I am something of a loner, completely content with quiet nights doing my own thing. I seldom seeks others’ opinions before I choose to do things or when I purchase things. I like to live a modestly and the country life of good, hard, honest work is very satisfying.
However, all of this is about to change. I have a new home now. One that is right on the skirts of the city. My lawn isn’t quite big enough to need a riding lawn mower. My next door neighbor is close enough that we have a fence between us. Cars are sure to come down the suburban lane more frequently than my old road. And I think the only animals will be the neighbor’s dog looking for a place to squat.
When most people move, I imagine it is in the opposite direction. They move out to the countryside looking to have a place of their own where their family can grow up. It is stereotypical, but it feels like the only ones that move toward the city are the young, looking for something they don’t have.
I am moving because I am beginning a new chapter in life, one I am excited about, though that is not really a good indication of anything. I have always been excited to start new chapters, whether it was heading off to college, or off to Japan, or even coming home again. In some sense, new chapters are always bittersweet, like sunsets that you wish would just hold still for you to really drink in. They never do and when they slip into night, you turn from the view and head into the house, knowing that tomorrow something new is going to happen.
I will miss the old place, though even that is changing. Why, just yesterday, an Amish horse and buggy passed me as I ran in the quiet of the morning. I waved gave a gruff hello and he responded in kind. It was perhaps just a last glimmer of something honest, a final parting gift from God as I leave. Already the sheep farm up the road is gone and a new house is going up where the deer used to run.
I hope that some day I will go back again and be just as excited to begin that chapter. I do wonder if the old house will look the same. Whenever I go back again to something I left behind, it seems to have lost the luster it grew to have in my mind, whether it was my old high school, my old college, or the little flat in Japan.
But that is a question for another time. For now, I am just going to be excited about my new home, making it my own much as I have done everywhere I have lived.
© Seth Crossman