I’m moving to Finland. Right now.
There is something about the changing seasons that has always made me supremely uncomfortable. It’s as if the weather necessitates a whole new outlook on life, and demands that you reevaluate things. We get complacent, and too accustomed to the atmosphere of the season. It’s the change in the air, its lightness and the smell.
Spring in Ohio smells like petrichor, the smell of soil and new grass after it rains. The air is heavy with cool rain and then suddenly light when the sun comes out. It’s nostalgia of school coming to an end for the year, warm sun and smells of fresh cut grass wafting through the windows; hot concrete, lawnmower exhaust, Bradford pear blossoms.
Sure, seasons are marked by how things look, but it doesn’t really strike you until you walk outside and suddenly the world smells different than it did yesterday. And you know that something has changed. Time has ticked over into a new small era and you’re thrown forward whether you were ready or not. Nothing is the same, and yet nothing is different. Except the air.
I seem to travel a lot at the change of seasons, and that makes sense to me. Stepping off the plane in a new place is the same sort of change, the same sort of new air. And in a familiar place, it feels like going back in time even though time has not stopped for the people there while you were away. In that sense, we’re always stuck in the past, involuntary nostalgia keeping us looking backward. Until the seasons change again.
I realized the other day, with no small amount of shock, that I was feeling confident. Confident that I’m making the right decisions for my life and career, confident, for once, that I might know a little about what I was talking about. And strangely enough, I felt like I deserved to be successful.
Things fall apart, and things come together in ways that often mystify me. I’m learning to trust in my own stoic advice not to worry so much about the problems of tomorrow, because something will happen, and you’ll deal with it then.
For now, just breathe.