We are in the middle of our first real snow of the school year. The world is gray and foggy in a way that feels more like the end of a beautiful fall than the opening bell of a glorious Minnesota winter.
The other day, my mother-in-law sent me some newly discovered photos of my husband when he was little. They charmed me: my husband as a tiny baby, laughing. In his school uniform with his satchel over his shoulder. On a visit to Manhattan with his sister, who was effortlessly chic, even at the age of eight. There is so much I love about him, and still so much I do not know.
We’ve been married for almost fifteen years. I’m fifty, and I’ve been working in my career for almost thirty years. Our children are ten and thirteen. We’re not newlyweds! We’re not new parents. I’m not a newly minted mathematician, nor fresh to adulthood. And yet, I looked at those photos and thought: we are just getting started. I can’t believe it. We’re just getting started.
Yesterday when I walked my dog, I let her investigate every snowy leaf pile. This is her third winter of being alive, and she’s still so interested in the ways that all the smells and textures change with every season. I’ve walked her on different paths through our neighborhood almost every day for the years of her life, and she reminds me of how much there is still to see. New views I hadn’t noticed before. New geese stopping in Minnesota on their way south. New snow on pine branches.
My children have hit some milestones recently in their extra-curricular activities. They’re starting new levels – ones that might not matter in the grand scheme of their lives, but that matter to them enormously right now. Those are endings in some ways, but also opportunities for them to feel like beginners again. To feel like they are getting started, again. It’s not always easy, but it’s exciting.
At my own job, some projects are coming to a close. It’s always a little scary not knowing exactly what is coming next. But I can feel all the way into my bones that it’s time for me to bring what I’ve learned over the past few decades into a new season of work – even if I don’t know exactly and perfectly what that will look like yet.
On the way to school, my younger daughter was not impressed with the “magic” of this particular first snow. She’s partly not ready for fall to end, and partly impatient for what she thinks of as the parts of winter that feel more glamorous than this – parts with sunny days and deep snow. Don’t worry, I told her. Winter is just getting started.
And so are we. We are just getting started. In all the best ways, we are just getting started.
I’m enjoying a little of that Minnesota snow as we travel along the Mississippi to Pepin Wisconsin- the last part of a long tumbleweed sort of vacation before beginning the trek back to PA. I’m enjoying your posts.
Thank you! That riverbank is one of the undiscovered treasures of our national landscape – it’s so beautiful! I hope you enjoy it!
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The little bit of snow is just adding to the beauty!
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