Tuesday, March 28, 2006

This could be the last time

I'm not announcing the imminent and premature demise of this blog, but referring to the song by the Blind Boys of Alabama. I got it for my birthday last year and it has been something of a theme tune through preparations for leaving Scotland. The last birthday in Scotland for a while, the last Christmas until 2008, the last snowfall in early March (surely!).

All of these will be hopefully resumed at some point, but there is a darker, more serious side to all of this, because there may also be some real and permanent "last times" with people I know and love. There have been enough family funerals in the last few years, including some of our generation, for this to be a stark reality that occasionally brings me up short.

It is true, of course, that each time we say goodbye, or even goodnight, could be the last time, but we don't live as if it is. Leaving for Rwanda is causing me to be more appreciative of the times I have with people, to reflect on how I value them and hopefully to give more to relationships. The pain of separation is lurking just under the surface, though. I'm sure it will emerge more as departure approaches.

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