The passing of time is something I ponder about often. Concepts of time travel a favorite of the fantasy genre. Being able to travel through time is an appealing idea. I think we all are aware that experiencing something, whatever it is, alters us.
Time traveling is interpreted many different ways. Certain times of the year earmarks the something of importance and influences often how we enjoy it. Pumpkins in the fall. Beach trips in the summer. November is for Thanksgiving and December is the grand finale of it all.
For me, once August hits it’s a whirlwind that eventually calms down in late February. The fall is one that’s loved by many. The air gets crisper. A sense of magic creeps into our minds. Cinnamon heavy desserts and stews warm us. The start of the school year. The beginning of the holiday season.
As of four years ago, the fall became something more to me.
The fall was when I met my best friend but had no idea what that smiling, freckled face would mean to me. The fall was when it was clear we were joined at the hip and would be cute old ladies together.
The fall is when I lost her.
The thing about memories is that they are always there even when we don’t focus on them. Like the air, pieces of our past, the parts that helped build for worse or for better, are all around us.
The smell of a candle. A certain show. The warmth of her smile. I carry it all with me.
Every memory comes with a choice: lean into it or fight it. Pain is part of joy the way our arms and legs are part of our bodies. Keeping out the pain prevents the joy from seeping in.
There are times it feels easier to block it out. To carry on as if life is the same. I’m not the same. I’ll never be who I was before I met her, before I lost her.
I put 3,000 miles between me and my childhood when I was nineteen. There’s a lot of people I left behind—an unfortunate side effect of a necessary act. Some need space from their demons to learn who they are.
The Early years of parenthood in a new city made the lack of roots obvious. Meeting people as an adult is so different than when we’re young. It’s just harder. Emotional walls are already built. Adulthood is filled to brim with time-consuming responsibilities where as time dragged with open gaps during youth—at least it did for me.
I was lucky enough to meet someone who transported me into simpler moments. Longs talks at the park long after the sun had set. Endless streams of text messages. What’s better than a best friend in your pocket carrying out the day?
When that wasn’t good enough, it took under four minutes to drive to her house. It was one those relationships where you feel as if you’ve known that person your entire life and the times before.
I choose to bring those perfect moments with me, to fold them into the things I love about the fall. I will picture her bubble vest and Seahawks beanie. I will think about her while watching scary movies on Halloween. I will think about our coffees on rainy mornings.
I will give her the fall.