Ends

Four years ago we caravanned to a town we didn’t know, and it became home. Now, we leave Missoula in four days. This morning I sat on the floor and ate breakfast. Our furniture, which was lugged in from thrift stores and Craigslist and even alleys, has gone back out the door, to friends and strangers. Watching the apartment empty is like traveling back in time, to when we arrived, beginning a sentence to which we didn’t know the end. I couldn’t have imagined it would be so good.

My jaw aches, probably from grinding it at night, subconsciously clenching at change. Excitement for the upcoming trail is strong, but it is temporarily covered with a long to-do list and many goodbyes to kind people. I’ve already had a few teary ones, and more where the tears will come later, probably during the long, flat length of Nebraska, where it is safer to let them go.

This is voluntary, of course. All things end, so why not practice? A departure is a little death. One day I would like to practice being the one to stay, but either way, at parting, if there is sadness, there was love. And as far as I can figure, that is all that makes living human in a mad world worthwhile.

On the way home from work, the radio played a song I’d never heard before: “Good Times,” by Matt Costas. Here’s the chorus:

Finally those good times are comin
Good times are comin
Good times are comin
…to an end.

But he doesn’t sound sad. Those good times are coming to an end.

Different good times lie ahead.

Good night!

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