As May draws to a close, and with it the season of spring catapulting us into summer, I find myself at a unique juncture. If it were a symphony, this would be one movement’s coda, lingering for a moment — drawing out a resolution incomplete by design — before flowing into the first notes and measures of the next.
It has been for me a season of fascinating juxtaposition — fresh beginnings nestled beside familiar patterns, the old and new coexisting alongside one another.
I’m now comfortably settled into my new home, thanks to the generous — not to mention exquisitely tasteful — help of my dear uncle John. I am so fortunate, and feel deeply cared for. This apartment *just happens* to be located directly across the street from the flat where I’d moved in as a medical student exactly a decade ago, and just a block down the street from the church and Tarrytown community I love so much. It’s a beautiful new space in a familiar old town, one to which I have longed to return. I’m thankful to be home.
I’ve also re-entered American medicine, in the form of an urgent care post in western Pennsylvania, the state in which I’ve maintained an active license. It’s a long commute to a short term assignment, but proved to be a true gift while my elusive New York medical license was filtering its way through the proverbial red tape. (Last week, it finally did!)
In another month, I look forward to joining the faculty of a tremendous new family medicine residency program at Phelps Memorial Hospital, one that’s affiliated with my alma mater, New York Medical College. Years ago, during my med student days, I would often go running along a ridge at the Rockefeller Estate Preserve that overlooks the hospital’s front gate. During those jogs, years before this residency program was formed — even before I had decided to pursue family medicine, and of course without any sense of that path that would ultimately led there — I’d say to myself, Someday I’m going to work at that hospital.
It has been a season, in short, of homecoming, the repotting of oft-transplanted roots in soil at once both familiar and fresh.
At the same time, it has been a season of near-perpetual motion, filled with the excitement and adventure of transition. That’s a familiar place for me, one that has always suited me well. Yet even as I write that, something stands out as different about this transition. For the first time in my life, I’m settling into a place and pursuit that doesn’t come with an expiration date. From grade school to grad school, from residency to fellowship to my years in Nepal, there was always a discrete timeframe, a specific endpoint in site after two, three or four years. What a different vantage point this long-range view now affords.
A new apartment in an old, familiar town; brand new NY plates on my road-worn Subaru; dear new friends meeting my dear old ones; a new job in the old and valued tradition of medical education; a new way to live out the same ancient calling to encounter our changeless God. And in the midst of it all, an important rounding out of one chapter, even as the first lines of the next are being written.
Speaking of which…
(And here you’ll have to excuse my being so thickly literal; I just couldn’t resist…)
The past few months have found me keeping up with a fair bit of writing on the side. For every word I post here, there must be close to a hundred that don’t make the cut, piling up on scraps of paper and collecting on looseleaf shuffled into countless notebooks and journals accumulated over the years. Now, having already made the transition from reader to writer through the course of this blog (and the profoundly formative fellowship year that preceded it), I’m cautiously exploring the critical next step — that of writer to author.
There, I said it.
We’ll see what comes of all this writing in time. If anything does evolve from the many piles of pages, you’ll eventually hear about it here. At the very least though, I plan to continue blogging now and again in the coming months, so stay tuned.