As I drove, I pondered how different life will look the next time I watch the trees trade their summer greenery for fall colors. This weekend, I will write to Devin on his mission and tell him about Alec's final Homecoming game. I might even confess that I teared up a bit when the senior float passed, carrying Alec and the other graduating football players.
The changing seasons seem to expose the mortality in all of us (at least those of us dancing around that mid-century mark). One cousin asked recently, "How did we get so old all of a sudden?" Another reminded me that my generation has become the aunts and uncles (and even grandparents!) that I remember so fondly from my school days. Back when those aunts and uncles still attended PTA meetings and sent children of their own off to college, I used to sing along to Bonnie Raitt's "Nick of Time":
I see my folks, they're getting old, I watch their bodies change
I know they see the same in me, And it makes us both feel strange
No matter how you tell yourself, It's what we all go through
Those eyes are pretty hard to take when they're staring' back at you
Scared you'll run out of time
See? Those corn-stubble vistas and colorful trees have me waxing nostalgic and feeling old. Pretty soon, winter will set in. I'll find a few more gray hairs, mark another milestone or two. But spring hovers in the wings even when the north wind sends frigid air down my neck. Nostalgia will have to give space eventually to rebirth and the blossom of new opportunity. The grandparents will once again trade their cross-country skis for hiking boots, and I will wake up to find that the world has not ended quite yet.