Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Season for Leaving

A day at the lake with yoga friends. It was a good day. Photo by Amy.

Yesterday morning I came in late to work because I had a very important appointment. It was my friend Chip's last day in town (he's in the Navy and will be stationed in Virginia for the next few years) as well as his birthday, and since he is a core member of the NacoYogis we had to send him off with a 7:15 am yoga class followed by 32 sun salutations in the park - a salutation for each year of his life, plus one to grow on. It was a bittersweet occasion and I will not lie - the final oms we chanted in class were shaky. I don't think there was a dry eye in the studio.

Last night we had a last minute goodbye dinner for George and Elma, who are moving to Montana on Friday. George got a summer job as a ranger in Glacier National Park and Elma does graphic design work online, so it's a great opportunity and an exciting adventure for the both of them. We had a vaguely Tex-Mex themed dinner, complete with guacamole, salsa, roasted vegetables, stuffed peppers and Mexican Chocolate Cake. It was a feast and we finished the night by kicking balloons, taking shots of a suspect tequila straight from Mexico and, at the end of the evening, saying goodbye as fast as we could.

I like making a fuss over people, and I like people making a fuss over me. Pageantry, traditions, any excuse to dress up or make a speech or cook a fancy meal - I live for these moments. But when it comes to goodbyes, I fall apart. I love adventure and I love change, but I despise the necessary casualties. The farewells. The friends that will no longer live a half a mile away, the impromptu nights on porches drinking beers and watching the dogs chase each other through the yard. As I say goodbye to so many people this month (and we're not done yet!) I can't help but think of my own impending move. And when I consider the lovely life I'm leaving behind, I feel wracked with guilt.

This is what happens when you follow your dreams. I know that at the end of the road there will be a thousand new hellos waiting for me and when I think about them, I'm happy and excited and eager to start the next phase of my life. And yet, all the excitement in the world doesn't make the goodbyes any easier to bear.