|Stunning views from my seat flying Catania, Sicily to Istanbul (on my way to Stockholm…
I should not have opted to fly that way, and now I have no luggage… ah, well… collateral.)
Lately, I’ve been experiencing a sentiment I’ve never known before.
A strange tightening in my chest when it’s time to pack.
An odd sensation as I watch the ground shrink below me during take-off.
An unfamiliar twinge as I lift my hand to wave goodbye.
I feel excited to be continuing on to the next place—of course, that goes without saying, and, I suspect, will never change.
And yet… and yet…
I think I would call it nostalgia, this new feeling.
First it was Zanzibar, and now Sicily.
Maybe I’m growing sentimental in my old age. (Just kidding—my old age is a long, long way away!) Maybe I’m allowing the places (or these people… or these lives, discretely wrapped packages of time, space and possibility) I briefly inhabit to reach a little bit deeper than I used to—sending out just the finest roots beneath my skin.
Or maybe it’s an inevitable side-effect, which has simply run unrecognized along the sidelines up until now.
Wherever it comes from, this nostalgia weaves a duskier hue at the edges of my leave-takings. A slight reluctance (never stronger than the bolder urge to continue on, but there nonetheless). A bittersweet recognition that I may in fact miss this place (these people… this time… this particular configuration of life)—that I was happy here.
It’s the taste of the last sip of hot chocolate, and the color of the faded corner of a photograph. Savoring. It’s the feeling of lingering before standing up to leave a cafe… and it adds, I think, a lovely dimension to each journey onward—a depth, a balance to anticipation.
While this feeling—this nostalgia—is unfamiliar to me, I welcome it. I acknowledge it (for it undoubtedly deserves its place in the scheme of things), and then I leave it beside the photographs, memories and written pages—where it belongs.
So. Nolstalgia… welcome to the adventure!