Nothing Gold Can Stay

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As much as I whine and complain about my daily retinue of struggle, there’s a part of me that understands just how wonderful this chapter in my life is. It’s an eerie feeling, actually, because it’s almost like a foresight that’s completely grounded in my own past.

Woah. Let that sink in.

Ok. Now that I’ve said something totally mind-blowing, let me kind of unravel that for you whose mind is not so blown.

Childhood memories, Christmas, falling in love, my wedding day, the births of my children – these memories lend me an understanding that THIS is important. Right now. As much as I want to think that I’m moving forward, the future me will remember now as golden. And I’ll want to go back.

It’s hitting me at weird times, usually when both kids have been asleep for a few hours and I become a little more human with their absence. In the heat of these very busy, frustrating moments, all I can think about is when they’re going to be in bed. When they’ll be quiet. When I can rest. Matt and I say things like, “These KIDS!!!” and we pull our hair out. We’re so gosh-darn tired of their mischief, their whining, their childness.

And then once it’s quiet, I’m restless. Like a freaking battery I’m recharged by their absence and I miss them. I’ll look through my phone at their photos, remember an adorable thing they said earlier, run into their room and kiss their sleep sodden cheeks. Mmm. And that smell, that feeling is what the future me will cherish.

I’ve been in denial about some of my closest neighbors moving out. She was pretty much the first face of Solano Park for me. She was always friendly, always reaching out to me. And her son was Coco’s first crush. They moved out this past weekend.

That’s the horrible thing about living in a transitional community. We’re all here because we want to be somewhere else someday. So every year, various residents complete their programs and scurry off to a new location. They’ll leave behind some old furniture, old clothes in the laundry room, and an empty apartment that will quickly fill up again.

But goshdangit there’s a hole. Because they were here, and now they’re not. How is it that this place that has changed me so much is changing too? What will become of me?

Some of you may think that a little thing like a neighbor moving out is not worthy of such an existential crisis. You don’t know you’re neighbors well enough. Unless they are horrible neighbors, in which case you may say ‘good riddance.’ There have been those neighbors in our lives as well.

Cause I have pictures of this little guy – pictures that are a part of my kids’ childhood.

And HE is a part of that. I’ll remind Coco of Owen when she’s older (hopefully they’ll be dating by then and I won’t have to). I’ll remember all the picnics that his mom and I shared on the playground. Pretty much every day that wasn’t raining, we were out there together. And there are others that share those times as well. And MORE of them are moving this summer!

I’m gonna fall apart. Just warning you. This place is home to me because of so many different people that have made this an incredible experience. To live with friends! Do you know how awesome that is?! Do I?

You see, I know I will look back on Solano Park – the days without a garbage disposal, the days where ducks gang-rape on the playground, the days where poop shoots through the toilet and into the bathtub, the days where we have giant leaf-raking parties and mud baths, the days where we have tea parties and pot lucks, the days where I find my entire wardrobe in the free piles (remind me to blog about this), the days where I furnish my house with dumpster dives — these are golden times.

And by golly, I’m already getting nostalgic.

So it’s time for me to pull out my second favorite poem in the world. It’s short, it’s sad, but it’s perfect in so many ways. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost.

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Gets me Every. Single. Time. Now I need to go cry into a pillow, hug my kids, and tell all of my neighbors I love them. Buh bye.

5 thoughts on “Nothing Gold Can Stay

  1. hilljean

    I love how you said that in high school! I became obsessed with it then too. It’s beautiful. My first favorite poem is The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot. There’s just so many quotable lines in it. But I have a deep love for poetry in general, so I’m always finding favorites ????

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  2. hilljean

    That’s a great slogan! Stay gold! I’m keeping that one ????

    Reply
  3. hilljean

    Yes, I love this poem too! I teach it to my 8th graders when we read The Outsiders. I overheard them saying they signed yearbooks with “stay gold”. I thought that was really cool!

    Reply

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