Early tomorrow morning, we begin the long drive down to Arizona to deliver her back to school.
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.
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.
As much as I hate to see her go, I love sharing this ritual with her; this special way of saying goodbye.