Fall is here and I couldn’t be happier! Now is the time to wear boots and turtlenecks and dark lipstick. Now is the time to read a little Wendell Berry and go for long pensive walks. Now is the time to be in love with the world again.
Fall is a season of reflection for me. I know it is for others too. And lately I’ve been thinking about all the people who are kind and good and matter deeply to me.
“Harvest Moon” by Neil Young, is one of my favorite albums. I listen to it in the morning when I get ready for class. The song “One of these Days” has been on repeat for about a week now. I can’t seem to stop listening to it.
In the song, Young describes how he has some really good friends in different places that he’s shared some good times with. He wants to write them all and let them all know how he’s been feeling and how much they mean to him.
I went to dinner with a friend this weekend to catch up and share a few laughs. After a night full of dense calories and feminist rants, we looked at the clock and agreed it was time to leave.
We headed back to the car and drove home. We took the long way and began bringing up old jokes and stories from our times together. Soon the hysterics set in with uncontrollable laughter.
It was one of those breath taking laughs that keeps starting back up after you think it’s over. For me, it was a moment of transcendence and pure joy. It was sacred.
My busy mind was quiet and I was so happy. Happy to make a memory. Happy to have a friend. Happy to be alive.
But alas, all good things must come to an end. Eventually, my friend dropped me off and we said our goodbyes. Then I got in my own car and drove back from my parents’ house to campus.
I listened to the radio for a bit. Then cut it off. Rolled the windows up and down a few times, but good ole Neil kept playing in my head.
I plugged my auxiliary cord in and listened to “One of these Days” for the thousandth time. I sang along whole heartedly, “One of these days/ I’m gonna sit down and write a long letter/To all the good friends I’ve known/And I’m gonna try/To thank them all for the good times together/Though so apart we’ve grown”
I couldn’t help but cry as I continued to sing. Being with my friend was so special and, during our time together, I kept thinking things like, “These are the times I’ll remember!” or “I’ll never forget this moment!”
But I probably will forget, just like I have with others moments of a similar quality. Maybe that night in the car will come back to me 3 years from now, and I’ll wish I would have thought about it sooner.
I take this worry I have about “remembering” as a sign of the spirit “moving in me.” The spirit acts in my life in many ways, but most often it manifests as constant but gentle reminder of something specific I need to do or pay attention to in my life.
I take this prodding at my soul as a nod from God to get out a pen and paper and start thinking about all the people I love and share good memories with and all the things I need to say.
While I want to live in the moment, I know my time here at Maryville is coming to an end and life will go on without the constant interaction of many people I’ve come to grow fond of.
Maybe I will sit down and write a long letter, sooner rather than later, to all of the people and good friends I’ve known. It won’t be long until then. I hope to God it won’t be long.