Endpoint + Ladybugs / by Christina Rosalie

The ladybugs have arrived. They come every October, en masse through the slanting autumn light, their small vermilion exoskeletons plunking into the window panes, flitting through briefly opened doors, gathering at the corners of the ceilings in every room. They come like clockwork, when the days are short and the light is like amber in a jar, before the hard cold. They bring promises, nostalgia, delight. Bean bursts into laughter as they land on his pants, his hands, his shoulders. He extends his arms carefully, watching them crawl about then lift off, their small buzzing wings carrying them in drunken zig-zags towards the house, where they seek dark nooks to overwinter. Their arrival marks the end of autumn and the beginning of the long season of snow and cold and boots and socks at the door.

Things are ending now, and beginning. When I wake up the valleys are blue and soft with mist, and the last yellow poplar leaves twirling to the ground make my heart ache: such a certain, gorgeous loss. Which is how I feel now, at the brink of things: new community, new friends, new work.

I want to say that it feels like the end of an era, but Iā€™m not sure what I mean. Just that things feel like they are starting to be different. And it's good. But also, change is always awkward and slightly devastating, even if its just something temporary (a trench coat left hanging at by the door after the wearer has gone ahead wearing something startlingly bright and full of promise.)

There's always that moment of hesitation, a glance backward, even as I'm plunging on ahead.

I miss, for example, the days when I was new here, when I had such a voracious voyeuristic enthusiasm for sharing my life and reading about other peoples lives. Those were the days when this blog was my lifeline to a reality I'd thought I'd maybe lost, having just had Bean and moved north to a place where I didn't know a soul. But now, four, almost five years later, every day is filled with little boys and writing, work, and new friendships, and life has somehow begun to shift more and more off the screen and back into the three dimensions of day-to-day.

And somehow this feels bittersweet.

How do you make these things coexist, reconcile, balance in your life?