A few days ago I got on a plane with my little family and flew 30 hours across the world to resume my life so far away from the country in which I was born and with which I identify strongly. I was reminded that living in the present is a constant challenge to the human desire to hold on to the preciousness of life.
I said goodbye to my Mother. In a few weeks time she will have open heart surgery without me around to hold her hand, be there when she wakes up, take care of her in the weeks after the operation.
I said goodbye to my Dad. He will do all those things for my Mother that I am not there to do. He will do a fantastic job - he loves her more than anyone and he has been there these long 45 years doing just that.
I said goodbye to my brothers and their families. They are all fine, healthy, growing, inspired – but I miss the changes in their lives and wish we lived closer.
I said goodbye to my best friend and her little family. These days she looks at me with knowing that we have to simply be happy for the moments we have together because it's been many years since we lived in the same town.
I said goodbye with a certainty that where I was flying to could NOT be more important than those I was (again) leaving behind.
We touched down into our life here. We went to the supermarket to hunt and gather. They greeted us like old friends.We went to the boulangerie where we were required to recount in detail our journey to the 'other side'.
We bumped into neighbours who had the decency to appear thrilled to see us again.
We talked about the weather across the world, the deliciousness of being in the arms of family ... and all the familiar topics like the weather here and the children's return to school.
Suddenly my feet were back on the ground. I let go the string that had stretched across those 30 hours of flying. I let go. I came into the present with a rush.
And here I am ... nodding my head in recognition of the humaness of wanting so badly to hold on but knowing that to do so means paying too high a price... that of not moving forward, of holding on too tight to experiences, emotions, moments - so tight that they are crushed in the process.