Thursday night dinner – toasted almonds on my salad, a book-lined apartment in uptown. I’ve known this friend so long that sitting across the table from her feels like going back to junior high – her laugh, the gap in her teeth, the way she sips her water.
Driving back up 35W, Minneapolis sparkles around me. I pass lots of memories – arcing concrete bridges form gateways to my university, the church I used to attend, the Italian restaurant I waitressed at, the river I used to bike along at night, shouting to my roommates. I miss this place, and passing all the old landmarks brings me back to my old life. This place is my home.
The memories are sweet, but something is missing; they lack the pungency, the magnetic pull that they used to have. The college girl that used to live here and drive back from work on these roads doesn’t exist anymore. And with her gone, the places and scenes have lost their enchantment. I find that the dream-Minnesota I conjure up on dreary Moscow days is actually non-existent.
I thought college and living in a houseful of friends was as good as it got. I used to think that was THE BEST in life. But I’m finding that every stage, every age in life has its own set of privileges and blessings.
So, I’m glad to be in Minnesota. I’m thankful for the life I had here – the cars and books and tree-lined bike paths. I love to visit all the old places, filled with memories and bright ghosts from my not-so-distant past.
I’m even more thankful, though, to have new places and new memories. God piles the old right on top of the new!
“Let all that I am praise the Lord, with my whole heart I will praise His holy Name… He fills my life with good things So that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s…” -Psalm 103:1,5