It wasn’t too long ago that I was getting the house ready for Advent, Christmas, New Year, and most importantly, the arrival of my daughter from Florence. Once she was here my world was whole again, and whatever was missing or felt hollow was suddenly filled. But all good things come to an end, and so it is that she once again packed her bags and returned to university, to her world. No, I couldn’t bring myself to say good-bye at the bus station, so we parted ways at my front door and I waved her off as the taxi faded into the dark street. Easter seems so far away now.
I don’t think I will ever get used to saying farewell to my daughter, but deep down I know this is just the beginning of a long journey, and is part and parcel of university life. As Pippi Longstockings said, “if you don’t go home, you can’t very well come back, and that would be a shame.”
We took down the decorations together, and after she left I restored the apartment to its former arrangement, basically for a dinner-for-one concept, unless of course I count my cats, then it is always dinner for three. When the last items were brought down to the basement storage, I truly felt the end of the holidays encroach upon me. Although, as an Asian, there is always an excuse to prolong the holidays a bit and continue greeting people Happy New Year! until Chinese New Year. Nevertheless, the return to single blessedness in the apartment with only my plants and cats listening to my ramblings is a mark of “ordinary time”.
As I grow older and become more selective about the people involved in my inner circle, the more difficult it is to deal with departures, parting of ways, and sadly, death becomes an unavoidable reality. Ah, but let us remain positive and look ahead to the looming opportunities and all the other excuses to decorate the house again! Easter anyone?