I’m not sure where I first read this line, but it has stuck with me for almost 15 years as one of those simple poignancies worthy of recollection. I’ve moved on in my holiday venture from the city of brotherly love to New England’s favorite city, famous for tea parties and chowder. My efforts to see friends in Philadelphia and New York were put off by the holiday craze. A time when everyone is home to see family leaves only the days after Christmas for catching up with old friends, and my plans bring me here to Boston.
So I’ll get to see the Boston contingent, which has largely been a theme of my life. I’ve spent about 7 of the past 14 years in Massachusetts. That leaves the other 7 years spread thin in Oregon, Japan, Texas, New Mexico, Mexico, South Carolina, California and everywhere in between before finding Vermont home for the past couple of years.
I feel very lucky to have met countless unique and precious friends across this continent. Yet it remains. They are all across this continent. I try to see as many as I can every year, but always there is an echo in my chest for the absence of those I have not seen. I have learned other ways of communicating. The wind is kind to travelers. I whisper, and I know they can hear. I send packages on the wings of red tails, and notes in the memory of white tail deer. Still, it lacks presence. That thing that happens to the air when our physical presences occupy the same space. The air itself embraces. And I do miss you. Every day.
Would I trade it? Never. Because I know what there is to lose. Never meeting you would not make me yearn for you less. So I know someday again I will wake up and it will be time. I’ll drink a cup of coffee, slowly. It will be cold before I reach the bottom, but I will drink the last sip anyway. I will sit in the large burgundy chair where I like to read, and I will lace up my traveling shoes. And I’ll see you all, somewhere down the line.