Tonight I am surrounded by boxes and stacks of belongings, beginning to pack up our home.
The balcony door is open and a cool evening breeze blows in, carrying with it the sounds of traffic and the city below us. It used to be noise to me, foreign and annoying when I was trying to read or concentrate. Now it's just the soundtrack for a cozy evening at home, hardly noticed unless I stop to think of it. Funny how you adjust.
Soon the windows will be open on a cool summer evening at our new home, no hush of traffic on the quiet residential street we've chosen. Perhaps children playing on the street or a jogger going by, or neighbors in their yard. Change.
I am excited, but feeling very much that this is the closing of a chapter, one that's been incredibly new and sweet in many ways. I remember last June before our wedding, we had our apartment but weren't living in it yet. I would drive up from the city I was living in with a car stuffed full of my belongings and wedding shower gifts - pots and pans, decorative things, tablecloths and kitchenware, curtains and a bed set. I cleaned our apartment, inch by inch. Arranged and re-arranged cupboards, filled shelves and thought out the best furniture arrangements. Taking a humble little place and making it into a home, anxious for the day we would enter it as husband and wife and begin our life together.
And now, suddenly,we have ten months of marriage behind us, many firsts and many memories: staying up late, just talking. Reading together, and praying before going to sleep every night (thanks to my husband). Making special dinners, celebrating milestones. Having friends in. Having arguments and learning to humble ourselves and confess sin, to forgive. Going for walks, or late night runs for an ice cream or hamburger. Being crazy and acting like kids (we may or may not occasionally play tag in the circle through the kitchen and back out to the living room).
Growing more in love and more into the oneness that God designed for us to have.
And now we are just two weeks away from leaving this apartment empty, locking the door behind us. I've been feeling so sentimental, as if leaving this place means leaving this whole beautiful chapter of new married life behind us. As if we're moving towards bigger responsibilities (wait, with a baby due this fall, I guess we are!) and that this is the beginning of growing old, of time moving too fast.
Melodramatic, I know. But the changes ahead have caused me to reflect a little on the brevity of life, reminded me not to focus so intensely on my earthly treasures or happiness, even if those things are good and gifts from the Lord - my husband, our marriage, the blessing of a baby coming. I want our life to slow down and stand still, as I know I will when I have our newborn in my arms.
But it won't stand still; each new stage seems to slip by in a moment. Rather than letting that fact cause me anxiety or sadness though, I need to remember what lies ahead at the end of it all. There is more joy coming, more beauty - more than we can ever experience in this lifetime.
And it will last forever.