Last night I had a vivid dream that I was back on campus, beginning another year of college. My roommate of four years was there, beautiful as ever, unchanged in a dream world stretching across a decade and more.
I recognized the room as the one which tethered our junior and senior years. I re-lived that fluttering in the pit of my stomach–the one that accompanies such things as higher learning and leaving home and crossing your fingers for luck.
Today I feel that fluttering for my own kids, my youngest in particular.
This morning he started kindergarten. He is a shiny penny, an untapped well, an unwrinkled garment. He can’t wait to read without mom helping. He can’t wait to use his new lunchbox. He can’t wait to stand in line at the bus stop.
As I got ready today I thought back to my dream; remembered the details. I saw old friends and recalled so many moments in the room at the top of the stairs with the windows open and the blinds chiming against the sill. I realized that college, though as close as a dream, feels like another lifetime.
I pulled at the loose frays and watched the years unravel. Saw my twenty-year-old self moving about with no thought of boys in kindergarten or dreams that wake a thirty-five year old woman.
I am the same, yet a pillar of salt: turning and gazing to the past that has slipped from my fingers like water.
Today is a day for neither rejoicing or mourning. It is a day for making my way through the puddles, jumping in that clear sea, and swimming in the water while memories bathe me.