We’re trading away one experience for another, one season for the next, one set of rhythms for a different one, and even swapping a native tongue for a second language. There’s change in the air, for everyone, including our family. It’s different for each of us, but there’s the common experience of preparing for partings, farewells, movings, relocations, new beginnings, and transformations of all kinds.
Today we exchanged dollars for Euros. Both girls have their plane tickets and passports. They’ll change planes at London’s Heathrow Airport tonight and land in Milan tomorrow morning, where Chicca’s family will meet them. Sarah will visit there for 2 weeks, then come home briefly, before she leaves again for college studies abroad in Greece.
All around me, as I run errands today, picking up this-and-that on our last-minute shopping lists, parents and students are stocking up on notebooks and pencils, markers and backpacks, sneakers and snacks. Just a few days (hours in our case) to go, and so many logistics to complete. Bills paid. Medical forms completed. Schedules printed. Registration forms filled out. Permission slips signed. IDs ready. Transportation arranged. Meals organized. Even housing and dorm room supplies for older students.
It’s a rush. It ends – and starts anew — at a doorway, a gate, or a portal of some kind. Our children, our families, our friends, our loved ones … we, ourselves, are destined for an exit, a passageway or a border crossing.
Even if it’s as simple as exchanging summer habits for autumn ones, warm-season activities for crisp-fall ones, and pulling out long sleeves, close-toed shoes, and extra layers … we’re all preparing. Packing up necessities. Getting ready for change.
For some families, it’s a change of caregivers for medical support. Transition from hospital to clinic.
For some it’s a different sport or extracurricular season. Return to winter work hours, with a different pace and dress code.
The days feel long and lazy, even now. We might stop long enough to lift our face to the sun, and let its heat kiss flushed cheeks and closed eyes, before we keep moving.
Yet the pace of life is already quickened, urgent, thumping with a vitality that drums out the rhythm of change. In a few hours, Sarah and Chicca carry backpacks through security gates, leaving behind English-speaking countries, as the next step in their journeys.
All of us, one way or another, are on the move.