Reflections during the flight back:
I try not to take even everyday routines for granted. There are only so many weeks and weekends in a lifetime. Extraordinary times -- significant moments, all-too-short visits of family and friends -- pass even more achingly.
This is part of life as an immigrant visiting home. Every second ticks toward a departure. Every departure involves a Stoic confrontation of inevitable loss. It's not just the big losses. Even before then, you lose the everyday moments and the untold stories.
The only way through it is to hold on to the reasons for this part of the story. It's difficult to remember this when I leave for a different horizon, but I'm getting better. Part of it is learning so much more from the varieties of love and life around me. The trick isn't to extend the lessons I'm learning from the people around me, with so many this learning phase, just as students can't be in school forever. The trick is to learn more deeply, apply what I learn quickly, and share what I'm learning along the way.
All things must end so that new things can begin. Moments must become memories so that we can apply the lessons we've learned from them.
So we're going back to this second home we've created for ourselves. We'll do our laundry, pick up the cats, restock our groceries. We'll go to work and focus on our projects. Fall will turn into winter. (We call it baking season to dull its edge.) We'll get on with the rest of our lives, and other people will do the same. It'll be fun.
Looking ahead… You know, it's okay. Time passes. That's what time does. This is neither good nor bad. It just is.
The road ahead looks exciting too.