Days like this have a strange effect on me. It’s beautiful: about sixty five degrees, bright, breezy. The pretty little weeds that look like tiny flowers are all over the grass. Birds are chirping loudly in the trees. Weather like this, days like this, make me feel energized and uplifted.
And yet they also make me feel nostalgic and strangely bitter-sweet. The sights, the sounds, the feel and smell of the breeze drifting in my open window– are all like ghosts of my childhood, sneaking into the house of my mind through my five senses. It’s subtle, because there’s not necessarily any one specific memory. It’s more like a general and pervasive mood. And it’s slightly depressing.
There’s some truth in the saying “You can’t go home again.” I’ve thought about it before; in terms of my family, I can never go back to being that little girl that didn’t know that Uncle Jimmy* was an alcoholic or that Uncle Mark* used to beat Aunt Maggie up. I can’t go back to being the little girl that picked violets in my grandmother’s huge backyard; that house was sold many, many years ago and my grandma died last May.
I’ll be 32 next month and sometimes I feel like my college and high school days were just yesterday. Today I was outside watching my toddler run around in the grass.
It’s scary. I blinked and got “old.” What if I blink again and my daughter is grown up? Blink once more and I’m old and about to die? Maudlin thoughts like these remind me of my preteen days. These thoughts are like a throwback to the confused kid I used to be, the one who stood looking out the window, with a vague feeling of seemingly no origin, a feeling of “something’s not right”– It was a time when my thoughts were often ruled by a nameless anxiety I didn’t understand. I was preoccupied with the passage of time and how untenable it was.
And though I’m medicated and therefore better at being the master of my anxieties and fears, rather than the slave, it’s still something I think about. And days like this seem to bring those feelings back in a very nonspecific, formless sport of way, almost more like an association than a complete thought.
But no amount of worrying or melancholy will change these things. Time passes, things change, people grow old and die. The best I can do is live every moment and live in the moment. And today is a beautiful moment to live.