Friday, August 23, 2013


Departures are so strange and intangible. We have been leaving for several weeks now. We said goodbyes. We watched a team of Swedish movers box up our possessions, load them in a shipping container and drive it away on a semi truck. We have been doing all our lasts. 

Last visit to Magasin. Last trip to our friends' house. Last walk along christianhavn canal. Last paradis ice cream. Some lasts went unnoticed. When was my final visit to my Egyptian friend's delicious restaurant? When was the last time I walked by the round tower? Saw a swan family? Heard the bells on Holmens church chime in a song?

Today, to mark our final day living in Denmark, we went to Tivoli. It was a bit overcast and tourist season is dying down so there weren't many people in line for rides. I was lucky enough to have three sleeping children a d one patient cousin and was able to go up The Golden Tower four times in a row. Once on each side. The ride is one of the simple run you up a tall tower and then drop you in a free fall until you get close to the bottom where you bounce up and down as if you'd gone bungee jumping. Normally I wouldn't want to go on such a ride, but there is something about The Golden Tower. There is a moment at the top where everything is still and you can survey the beautiful old city of Copenhagen. And then you suddenly plummet from the sky back down to earth. 

I surveyed the city I have come to call home, trying to soak in the beauty, to remember how lucky I am to have lived here and then I fell. 

After Tivoli, we took the bus home and put all our belongings in bags. We threw out an embarrassing amount of food, packed an embarrassing number of suitcases and went to sleep for one more night in our echoey, empty apartment. 

I remember leaving our home in Washington DC to move here and feeling much the same way. A sense of profound loss at the life we were leaving and simultaneously thrilled at the new adventure awaiting us. People say you can always return. "You can come back to Denmark," they say. And it is true, you can, and we will - but it will never be the same. We won't live here again and we won't find all of our familiar people and places again on our return. Time will march on, we will change, our neighborhood will change, people will move away, the city will shift and transform. It will not be our Copenhagen in the way it is in this moment and we will not be the way we are in this moment. 

In the morning, we will gather our belongings, make a final sweep of all the rooms, slam the door so it locks and leap - free falling into our next adventure. Here. We. Go...


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