Thursday afternoon came the first goodbyes. Rude intrusion into our idyllic week. Then Thursday night, we had to say goodbye to those leaving early Friday morning. More goodbyes after breakfast. A call from those who left Thursday—safe and sound back at home. Then one more time out on the boat—into the water. Back to the house for lunch—a text from those who left early that morning—now well on their way. Then it was all about the packing, continuing the washing and drying cycle, cleaning the bathrooms, the kitchen, making beds, saying the final goodbyes and hitting the road.
Throughout it all—grief, but also a sense of appropriate returning—everyone going back to where they belong—where then need to be to continue their living and their working so we can gather again for a sabbath week of family and church set apart.
I don’t much like goodbyes when it comes to those I love, but for those with whom my being is intertwined, goodbyes are but the necessary conduit to future hellos, and separation the context for anticipating and celebrating future communion. There’s some theology to that, isn’t there?