One week from today we will check our bags, carry-on our luggage and board our series of flights. We will, at last, be on our way to Africa. This week has been peppered with quick stops and here and there to get almost-forgotten items. There have been new lists complied about securing domestic affairs while we are away. It seems some details do not descend on you till the last minute. Sigh.
This week I have enjoyed meals with friends that I will miss during my months abroad. I sit with them and soak in their smiles, savor the sound of their laughter and take pleasure in sharing a few more stories together. These are pre-departure delights! I will miss your proximity, no doubt. However, I believe that distance does not have to diminish a friendship; it has the potential to highlight new contours and textures. Our friendship will grow richer if we tend it well even as we have miles between us. So please stay in touch, and I commit to do the same. Maybe we will discover new things about each other this summer – things that will make us laugh deeply when we reunite in the fall!
A few of you have refused to say ‘Good Bye.’ Those can be hard words in juxtaposition to the tenderness of friendship. I understand your refusal. And, after all, this is not farewell to our relationship, just recognition that we have a new season upon us. During your triple-digit heat I will be in double-digit humidity… feeling as hot, I assure you! But goodness can be found in our continued connection, regardless of continent and time zone. So to you I simply say: See you soon!
You have given me good gifts to take with me, memories that will sustain me when I feel pangs of homesickness! How I cherish you...