Moving is a sad business.
My wife and I have been married almost 20 years, and we are in the middle of our 10th move. 5 states, 6 cities, 10 dwellings.
I don’t remember all of them being emotional, then again I don’t remember much about several of them. In fact, that’s what makes this kind of thing sad.
We’re leaving a place we had memories, kids hit milestones, hard times, good times, and every mundane in-between were experienced. We saw seasons come and go, visitors come and go, and life phases come and go.
The sad part about leaving is that I’m old enough and have been through it enough to know, no matter how permanent the memories now seem, I will forget most of this phase of life in this house.
When I look forward to where we’re going, I’m excited. When I look back on what we experienced here, I’m pleased, proud, and happy. But there is a deep sadness too, knowing every turn of the road, shadow on the landscape, sound in the night, and child in the grass will fade into inaccessible recesses of my mind quicker than I’d like. They will doubtless resurface at random times, but I will lose the bulk of them.
Time is a series of deaths. Each moment births a new person and kills the old. But when place remains constant, each moment has access to the accoutrements of the previous, and a deeper sense of continuity is maintained.
Changing place severs the connection, and each forward moment increases the distance between those of past time and place, until they are lost.
I am pre-emptively sad for the loss of memory about this place and phase in life I know is looming. I don’t mind moving ahead, but I don’t want to leave all of this feeling and memory behind.
In near death experiences, you often hear of some kind of life review. I’m not sure about the pressure of accounting for my deeds, but I would love the ability to review and remember all the things I’ve lived but forgotten.
We’re moving on. Which means some compartment in my brain will now be home to all the things we experienced here. I only hope I don’t lose the key.