When Steve received his retirement clock several years ago, it registered 1,500 days. At this moment, it shows he has just 4 days, 13 hours, and 27 minutes left until retirement. We are in our final week in California, and the clock is ticking.
We’ve been busy with our last phase before we start Planting Ourselves. This phase is the hardest of all. I call it Parting from People. It is a bittersweet time, a time filled with sadness and also joy, a time which drove Juliet to say to Romeo, "Parting is such sweet sorrow." I often think how tragic it would be to leave a place you’ve lived for several years and not feel a sense of loss as you say your farewells. Steve and I have an opportunity right now to express to people how much we care about them, and to hear those life-giving words spoken to us. The good-byes are made a shade easier for us since we will return in a few months to see our newest granddaughter. But even though we can say "see you later," we need to not shortchange this season for ourselves, but fully enter in to all this experience has to offer.
As followers of Christ, we know that it really is always "see you later." We will all be together, for all of eternity, someday. And for a vagabond like me, that gives me great hope.
Oh, wait. The clock now reads 22 minutes.