I am back from a Trip Back East in honor of a relative's 80th birthday.
Offspring the Third and I went as the representatives of the southwestern branch of the family for the occasion. He was stoic, and helpful, and a very good travel companion. His enthusiasm for the museum we visited on our last full day was refreshing. He is a Good Egg. Well done, Offspring the Third.
During the trip, I saw many people whom I had not seen in a long time -- some for a year, some for three years, and some for twenty-three years -- and as enjoyable as it was, it was also difficult. These are the people of my youth; and I was acutely aware of the passage of time since then. So many changes; goals met and unmet; dreams gained and lost and set aside.
My siblings were there, magnificently familiar, and I felt acutely the pang of knowing that time spent with them will always be too small because of our divergent paths. (It is easy to forget how much you miss someone when you do not see them terribly often -- but then, with rare visit comes the recognition of the loss, and it washes over one's heart like the filling of an arroyo after the desert rain.) My parents, too, were present -- eternally the same, and yet a tiny bit more deaf, a little bit more elderly. I try not to think about the fact that they will not live forever.
Sometimes, I wish I had the capability to turn off my feelings. Or even the capacity to turn off the world for a little while, so I can feel, and accept, the full depth of these emotions without the minutiae of daily life clamoring for attention.
I am sad.
I will go read John O'Donohue - To Bless The Space Between Us (A Book of Blessings). His words are always soothing. Perhaps there is a blessing for the weary of heart.