It’s mid-may now, and the trees on my street have finally regained their leaves. The cast soft green shadows on the asphalt and cover my car in a coat of fine yellow pollen each morning. Walking down shady warm sidewalks with the smell of fresh-cut grass has been a gift, pure and simple.
Despite the overwhelming beauty of everything in bloom, and the immense relief of finally being done with finals and my junior year of college, May has been a very challenging month. I’ve experienced pain, gratitude, love, and fear. I’ve watched close friends mourn a loss painful and deep – a loss no one should have to endure at 22 years old.
I’ve been holding friends close, and making a conscious effort to remind people how important they are to me. Our time is limited and the relationships we form are integral to our happiness. I am eternally grateful to everyone who has put up with me these past few months as I’ve regained my footing.
The first weekend of summer, we went to the beach and made a bonfire, sipping warm twisted teas from the can. We collected twigs and kindling, plucked from among lone beer cans and party remnants of the warm afternoon. We made new friends with some people who came to sit by the fire to ward off the chill of early May in Vermont. I’ve never been particularly outgoing, and am usually quite shy, but I was proud of myself for starting conversations and connecting at the start of this new season. When I got home, my hair smelled like campfire.
This time of the year always makes me so sentimental. There is so much change. I’m moving out of my first apartment, and into a new one a few blocks away. I’m adopting a cat. I’m watching good friends graduate and turn to the next chapter of their lives. I’ve always found it hard to say goodbye, even if it is just for a week, or the summer. I have never been good at it, and despite the many goodbye’s I’ve said in my life, they’ve never gotten any easier.
I’ve been taking time to get outside of the bare walls of my apartment. I work at an office until 3pm each weekday, but the long days of summer give me plenty of time to enjoy the daylight. In the park, among the ducks, listening to the lapping of the lake waves and the whirr of bike wheels on the bike path, I am learning to be present. The park on the south end of town has become a favorite place of mine to read and journal when the weather is nice.
This past month has been an amalgamation of emotions and lessons. I’ve learned gratitude in a way I never thought possible, and I am learning to see beauty in all things, from kids laughing at the beach to decorations in home decor stores downtown.
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