Monday, April 23, 2012

Parting Glances

I removed every marginal item from my pack this morning and weighed it: 26 pounds. With my weight down to 196, I will be carrying just over 220, which was my weight last summer. I threw the pack on my back and walked a quick five miles before lunch. Only my legs hurt.

I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. Just waiting for the plane now: Boston–Madrid–Venice.

The things that aren’t really necessary—the extra sunscreen (I can buy it in Europe), the second guidebook to the Camino (all the info is on line), the third pair of underpants (OK, you probably didn’t need to know that)—are signs of the things we leave behind.

My garden is blooming, and I will miss that, but I won’t miss the Red Sox folding early, or even Game 7 of a truly nerve-wracking first-round playoff between the Bruins and the Capitals.

Yesterday’s Game 6 was the third overtime game and each game has been decided by a single goal. My friends Ferde and Paul and Rick will just have to shout home a winner Wednesday night. I’ll be sleeping beside the Grand Canal. Nyuck, nyuck.

I will miss saying goodbye to my ten fourth-graders at Wednesday’s last religious education class. Over the weekend I bought them each a greeting card and wrote them personal notes, congratulating those with perfect attendance (Tyler, Tori), those who did particularly well on the final test (Charlize, Lucas, Cam), and all the others, whom I just really got to like. Of course, the only thing they’ll remember is the small piece of chocolate I enclosed with each.

I will miss Father Barnes’s pastoral presence and Father Chateau’s smile, his needling too. I will miss School of Community on Friday evenings, though I think things can only improve with Ellen taking over the gavel. (We don’t really use a gavel, though she would make an awesome judge.)

Nine weeks is a long time to be away, a serious departure, a small death. I leave with an awareness that the world doesn’t really need us, though Lord knows we need the world.

Buen Camino!

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