Sorry for being offline so long; my brain seems to have shut down for rebooting!
The goodbye party at the RA was just amazing. One of the rabbis, who has been on vacation, came back specifically for this, and our printer came in from Hoboken to say goodbye as well. People said the most lovely things to me, both in public and in private, and I kept tearing up every time I realized how much I was going to miss everybody. And we all had a lot of fun. Two of the rabbis who are handy with their PDAs started snagging facts about Colorado in general and Fort Collins in particular (state bird, population, etc.) and one of them commented that the public schools in Fort Collins are supposed to be really excellent. I grinned at her and said, “It’s only a three-year program; even if I get right on it, I’m not going to be able to take advantage of that,” and she blushed bright red and said, “I meant to teach! To teach!” “Oh, yeah, I guess I could do that, too…”
And then Amy and my replacement came and helped me drag my boxes from my apartment to the RA for shipping, which was such a weight off my mind. And two days later, I took the driving test, passed with flying colors, and came home to Northampton.
Those three weeks up in Massachusetts were so heavenly, a moment out of time. I biked through the woods every morning, listening to the birds and the insects chirping, watching for chipmunks in the brush and herons, snakes, lotuses and cattails in the swamps, my mind utterly quiet for the 17-mile circuit. Then I’d cool down at Barnes and Noble with a book and a frappuchino, and then home to have dinner with the folks and play a few hands of spades or sew something with my mom. I can’t remember the last time I felt so at peace.
Saying goodbye was a hundred times harder than I thought it would be. My brother came home for the last weekend and when we went to put him on the bus, I literally couldn’t let go of him. And when my parents said goodbye at the airport, I just kept crying, and trying to be cheery and excited, and then crying again. But the flight was smooth, and I’m now settling in to Fort Collins, figuring out things like how to get a bike and a mattress. I’m glad I came early; it gives me a chance to get settled before classes start.
Fort Collins is beautiful, dark, lush, old growth trees hiding the quaint little houses on never-ending streets, and rising out of the west, the purple-blue fist of the Rockies punching out of the flat horizon and stretching out forever. I’m in love with this place already.