It is our first day of summer vacation we celebrated our last day of school on Friday. So from here on out its me and my lil lady having lazy summer days at least for a few days. We have had a very lazy morning sleeping in and not getting out of our jammies. As we lay in bed snuggling and playing I began to hear laughter outside. I didn't think much of it, it was graduation weekend and there are still lots of families that are here and getting ready to make their departures. We made our way from the bedroom to the living room where I had opened the blinds hours earlier, during a precious few hours while L was still asleep and I got to just be. Outside my blinds there was a goodbye in progress, laughter, hugs, probably some tears I couldn't see. I didn't mean to be all voyeur like on this group of friends goodbye, I just happen to live where my huge windows show me lots of things that happen on campus.
I heard the car doors shut and laughter faded into some sort of quiet, I might say a holy quiet, that quiet that comes when you are saying goodbye, or until we meet again. The sudden quiet caught my attention and I looked out the window again. There was one of my upstairs neighbors in her car, backing out of her parking space for the last time. Her friends formed a line on the sidewalk to see her off. I didn't have time to grab my camera, but the scene was beautiful in a very raw sort of way, I wanted to capture it from my "outsider" perspective. The driver was smiling and waving. Her friends stood, one with his shoulders just a little slumped, emotion in his body. One blowing kisses in a "goof ball" sort of way, emotion in his actions and humor. One stood watching, talking to the one who stood with his back facing the car, perhaps too painful for him to turn around and see her go. These are all my assumptions of course, I could be completely wrong. These aren't people I know very well although as I think about it, I wish I knew them better.
This is a group of people I have seen get into and out of my neighbors car so many times in the past few years. They aren't my close friends, we haven't shared meals, or many stories but in the way that they have come and gone over the last few years they have been a part of the rhythm that happens around here. Now our rhythm will change and we won't be able to put our fingers on it, because it's one of those things that you notice but not really. When it stops happening you will know something is missing but what?
This whole scene unfolded in a moment of time, it wasn't long before L pulled my attention from the window. In the past few months as this group of friends started to accept that their days together were limited, I have seen them post photos and work at making memories of the friendships they will cherish from seminary. I was touched by this moment that I just happened to witness when I looked out the window. What was it about this moment that wasn't mine that touched me?
Perhaps its that this weekend I shared my joy at seeing people's families arrive to celebrate with their graduates. Campus was full of impromptu graduation parties. Today the families are beginning to give way to the moving trucks. Our friends and neighbors who have graduated are beginning their journies on to the next place in their lives. And we are left with this space, for three months were the apartments around us are empty, where we mourn the people who we have come to love living with and we know there is the hope of the new people who will move in come the end of summer. In these first moments though and on those long summer days we are left with the empty space. In this moment this morning, I began to think about the people I will leave behind, the ones that have walked with me, the ones we celebrated holidays with, the ones who ate L's birthday cake. Then I thought about the ones I haven't gotten to know and I would like to know, some are already on their way to another place, but I have a year to get to know others. I shall make the most of this time. It wasn't lost on me either, that this afternoon my girl and I will stand in a similar way and wave goodbye to her very first best friend for the last time. After a weekend of playing with each other they will again have to part ways and learn to live with the space that is left.
May you be blessed this day with moments you didn't intend on witnessing.
I am grateful for these days with all the emotion and reflection they bring.