I read of a father who never hugged his daughter good-bye without saying this blessing:
“May every place you be make it hard for you to leave.
May every person you love make it hard for you to say good-bye.”
I loved this.
If you’ve moved many times in your lifetime, like I have,
you know what it’s like to leave a place.
Yes, there have been a few that didn’t merit so much as a look in the rear view mirror.
But they’re the exception.
Most have been difficult to leave because there’s beauty in every place on earth. There are almost always good friends I’ve had to leave behind. A house I loved. The comfort of familiarity.
But you don’t have to have moved often to leave pieces of life behind.
You can have a love affair end. Someone you love can move on – or stay behind.
Children will grow from flourishing in the shelter of your home to expanding into a natural need to move out into life from what becomes the confines of your home.
Your parents may live far from you and you may feel helpless to be near. Or they may have passed on.
Things change. Life evolves.
Life is made up of segments.
Each of them will end for some reason somewhere. But as long as everything I do and everyone with whom I share my soul represents something that when it was over I did not want to leave, I will have known happiness.
And people and places and experiences never really leave. We take them with us, don’t we? They enrich us. They make up the tapestry of who we are.
I understand the love in that father’s blessing: to be so happy anywhere you find yourself that you never want to leave it; to love someone so much you cannot bear to say good bye, must be one of God’s greatest blessings. It is a life lived trailing a wake of unending happiness.
One period of life follows upon another, sustained only by the spirit that is expanding in us.
And in each of those periods, we stretch ourselves always toward the light, whatever it happens to be at that moment.