Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Losing, Falling, and the Courage to Let Go

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

These words, written by Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1850, could have just as easily have been written of a place, and not a person. Like the scratched CDs that accompany us on our journeys, Tennyson's verses echo through my head - ever-present as the end grows near - and I wonder what I prefer: Would it be better never to know the beauty of this place, and its people, or to come to know it, only to lose it?

When our time comes to an end in any given place, with each passing day anxiety builds. And it takes its toll. It may sound trite, but imagine, you've just discovered your love for a thing or a place, but you the time will come to give it up. The hands of the clock seem to daunt you, forever reminding you of the innevitable.

And this is one instance where practice does not make perfect. As far as I'm concerned, there's no way to exit gracefully. I get emotional. Kind of like a child, kicking and screaming as I get dragged away from a birthday party.

Now, with less than 5 months left, will I appreciate Zeeland's ever-changing beauty as seasons rapidly change? Will I see all of the things that really matter? Can I beat the clock and finally learn the language? And should I build friendships further, and encourage Lukas to do the same, or gradually distance myself, to make leaving just a little easier?

You know that game, where you have to fall backwards and trust the people behind you? That's what I'm doing. Over the last few days, my friends have told me that...

...I have to go to "Goes in Concert", and that I'll enjoy the Dutch musicians. I was skeptical, but I went. And they were right.

...that I have to join them at Vlissingen's "De Kaloot" beach, just next to the nuclear power station, but riddled with huge wind turbines. I was skeptical, but I went. And, once again, they were right.

...that I couldn't leave Zeeland without watching the sun set on a clear night in Ellewoutsdijk. As always, I was skeptical, but went. And, despite the dismal industry of Terneuzen, the sunset itself was beautiful. They were right again, and for a few fleeting moments we had the time of our life.

So let yourself go. Trust. Fall in love again.
That's the stuff of great journeys.

1 comment:

Viera said...

..but memories will stay.