“In this world of change, nothing which comes stays, and nothing which goes is lost.”

— Anne Sophie Swetchine

Today is a day filled with changes.  That could be said about any day, I suppose, because the one thing we can rely on about living is that things always change; but today will bring many noticeable transitions to my world.  It is a good day to realize that although nothing which comes stays, nothing which goes is lost.  For ten days, we have had the pleasure of a visit from our eldest son and his family.  We have watched our son be a husband and a father, watched his family in action, and had some up-close time with our grandsons, Oskar and Gus.  This morning we will take them to the airport.  By early afternoon, they will be back in Atlanta and on their way to the familiar life that is their own.

The transition began several days ago.  We could see that the boys were beginning to wear thin after a week away from their own beds, and their parents were not so far behind.  After days on end of all the siblings gathering to spend precious time with their big brother, the need for sleep began to claim its place in everyone’s priorities.  Right up to the last flurry of activity as the little cousins and their parents built gingerbread houses last night, we all refused to admit that this morning really was on its way. How appropriate that we should sit in this place on the last day of November.  My first thought when I opened my eyes today was that tomorrow would begin December, and I no longer could pretend that winter was only a distant possibility.

I want to cling to my Atlanta family and tell them not to go; yet I love the sense of pride I feel when I see how they have built their own life, and I enjoy being a part of their success and independence as well.  I am struck with awe when I realize that my feelings about the transition from Autumn to Winter are so similar to those of sending off the people I love.  That is what transitions are about — holding on to the beauty and delight of things past, but trusting that change will usher in different sorts of days and a new kind of beauty that will be born of allowing life to continue its circular path.

I will reflect on all the details of my visit with the kids, and I will let those memories carry me through the months until we meet again.  Just as I will look out the window one day and see the world clothed in silent white beauty, I will be sure to look through the window of my son’s life and see the beauty in his return to the life he has built.  To love deeply is to hold on and want to postpone the inevitable changes that living brings.  To love deeply is to embrace change and know that nothing lasts forever, but nothing that moves on ever is really lost.

May the skies be friendly as they carry my loved ones home.  May the winds of change be friendly as they blow autumn away and bring the silent beauty of winter.