the shape of goodbye

The other night I watched the season premiere of Downton Abbey with none other than the woman with whom I spent hours watching the first seasons in the earliest days of a European summer. Then I hugged her goodbye and will see her again in the days after school reaches its close and the swimming pools are open again. In the months that separate our greetings she will go white water rafting on the Nile River and I will ski down the slopes of the Mont Blanc.

This is the week of goodbyes. Friends are off into the great, wide world again, back to college and lives awaiting them in small towns and big cities across the country. From the hills of the south to the plains of the west to the skyline of the huge eastern cities they disappear from whence they came and I content myself with giving them a hug and wishes of well being until we meet again. 

In fact, this time around I, too, am swamped in goodbyes. In the next few days I leave for farmlands of Switzerland and France, dear to my heart, to spend two months with my loved ones there. This isn't yet the final moving out of my family home, but it is a foretaste of what is to come.

I've written a lot about goodbyes in the past year. I think we'll never understand them. All we know is that they're not meant to be and there will come a day when we will have said our last one. Goodbyes never come easy, but they come easier when I remember that I will see these folks again one day: here or there. 


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