Wednesday. Box packing day. I managed to get five done tonight, gathering up random leftover books, clothes from the closet, small appliances and miscellany. I find myself with a curious melancholy that is different from the "black cloud" of last week; its more like the painful departures of summers past when I was a camp counsellor.
Three months straight of 17 hour days looking out for the well being of other people's kids is a heck of a bonding experience for a group of teens and twenty-somethings. Kids have amazing, emotional revelations during those hot weeks, and we all learned lessons about how life changes on a dime. By the end of the summer every ritual takes on profound meaning, as it becomes the 'last'. The last staff meeting. The last flag raising. The last dining hall muster. The final chapel. You look hard into the faces of these friends, and wonder at how you can make brothers and sisters of strangers. Yet you have to let them go. And its extraordinarily painful to do that. What friends could be as good as these? Who will know us as well as they do? Who will inspire us to reach in and become a person of strength and substance, a person like they are?
I assumed that at thirty-five the partings would be softened by a certain philosophical perspective, blunted perhaps by the fact that at least in this phase of life I do not go on to face whatever comes on my own. Not so. The letting go is just as difficult. the future just as full of questions, though perhaps at this point I have some sense of what the answers will be.
But you, my friends, could never be replaced or equalled. Domo arigato gozaimashita.