Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bittersweet

As it would happen, final impressions being as lasting as first, DC will forever be seared in my brain in crisp, cool fall tones under an impossibly blue sky. For some reason -- most likely because I'm leaving and it is the only poignant thing that could happen -- DC is wrapped up in an autumn that couldn't be any more perfect.

I am able to ignore the noise, the metro and the absurd crush of self importance, because the leaves are crunchy beneath my boots and the monuments are gleaming patriotically among the trees, and every day the trees are changing and the mornings are cold enough to need a scarf.


It is bittersweet that I will be left with this romantic vision of DC in my heart. I walk silently on my lunch break past the Vietnam Memorial to wander along the tree-lined paths by the Reflecting Pool. The geese and ducks that were just babies a few months ago are already grown, but they still flock together down the grassy hill and into the water, and they form a pretty picture gliding across the image of the Washington Monument in the pool.
The other day I was struck by pangs of sadness, fondness and preemptive nostalgia at the thought of leaving. I guess three years is still not enough time to become jaded at the sight of the White House or the Capitol Building.
Yes, DC, I will miss you. I can't help but feel affection for your grandeur, your puffed up optimism and patriotism, your celebrity politicians and the crush of people drunk on the energy of influence that courses through your streets. I wish I could become infected with the whole being-a-part-of-it vibe, but I have always felt somehow that I don't belong in this beehive of global power. Perhaps another day in the future, my life's path will bring me back...


I will miss the Cherry Blossoms by the Tidal Basin, the Presidential motorcades with armed snipers hanging out the windows of SUV's, the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. I will miss the crisp fall, the changing leaves and the bunnies hopping across my path when I'm jogging as the sun comes up. I will miss the Smithsonian, the Kennedy Center, and the little Asian man that plays that funny instrument at the Ballston Metro. I will miss coming to work at the State Department every day and the sense of excitement and wonder at my involvement in world events.

Yes. DC, I will miss you...

2 comments:

Spirophita said...

Mmmmm.....lovely :) I get those bittersweet feelings too.

Adam said...

so eloquent, honey. you'll have beautiful things to write about in hawaii too. promise.

Google