Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Today was the last full day of my fourth-born's summer break.

Early tomorrow morning, we begin the long drive down to Arizona to deliver her back to school.


Tonight, as has become our custom, she and I went down to the beach for one last sunset. The air was brisk and cool, wild waves raced across the water, and the colors reflected in the clouds were just about perfect.

Taken together with the handful of other evenings spent here this summer, we now have a fresh batch of happy memories to see us through till we return here together, three long months from now, at Thanksgiving.


But on this night, we went to the beach for more than just the natural beauty or the fond memories.

My daughter brought with her a small glass jar full of murky water

Carrying this treasure, she walked out to the far end of one of the docks. She knelt down, unscrewed the lid, and dumped the contents of the jar into the Sound. Pulling a scrubbing pad out of her pocket, she carefully scoured out the inside of both parts of the container. When she was satisfied with her work, my daughter sat back for a moment, looked around at sea and sky, and drew in a breath. Then, slowly and thoughtfully, she dipped the glass jar into the salty water, filling it up to the very top. While the waves rocked the dock and knocked us to and fro, she painstakingly screwed the lid back on without spilling a drop.

Just as she did last year and the year before, my daughter will take this little portion of Puget Sound to school with her. During the long year ahead in land-locked Tucson, it will sit on her desk, reminding her of home, of family, and of the beautiful place where she belongs.

As much as I hate to see her go, I love sharing this ritual with her; this special way of saying goodbye.


1 comment:

  1. Yes - sniff, sob & smile! I love your reflections, Diane <3


Please comment...I'd love to hear from you!