So Long for Now…

It was both swift and slow, this departure of ours. Weeks of transition stretched on, a box packed here and there as we finished up daily life and spent sweet time with friends. Then came the days at home, packing and organizing and cleaning and then going out at night saying goodbyes. This week arrived, bearing the Final Things. One last trip to the grocery warehouse. One more trip to town for all the last-minute errands. Packing box after box after box. It was the final stretch.

And then came today. We packed furiously all morning and then went out to lunch, enjoying the treat of a restaurant coupon where someone else did the cooking and the dishes as we sat in a booth and babbled away with our sweet little girl. We picked up the moving truck and brought it back, church friends arriving and going in and out with box after box in willing hands. And then the emptiness–a forlorn box here, a lamp there, and a few last pieces of laundry to fold.

Now I sit at my kitchen table, one last time, listening to the quiet of my husband playing his guitar and the cicadas outside, saying goodbye to Virginia and all the things I love so dearly here.

Goodbye, dear old kitchen table. What wonderful memories we have made here, sharing love and laughter and all kinds of cookery. You have been an instrument of our hospitality, bearing the weight of Christ’s love poured out to others as we pulled up yet another chair and welcome.

Goodbye, my delightful kitchen, hub of all activity and center of such joy. Cupboards, you have borne God-given bounty, and oven, you are so very longsuffering to this absent-minded cook. I shall always remember fondly, too, the dear little window over the sink showcasing God’s glory in creation. Truly, even the walls here resound with God’s truth as we have poured out heart and soul with one another and with friends. May His praise be sung!

Goodbye, dear home–little bedroom with its peace and quiet of cozy lamplight, living room of fellowship and rest, Spare ‘Oom with its plethora of functions (not least of which a haven for our sweet daughter). So long, dear old door–I never did figure out how to open you without you squeaking.

Goodbye, little walkway up the hill. I have trudged up you many a morning–great with child, balancing dishes or bags, hoisting the baby carrier. I have walked back down at night gazing at the stars, awash with the pleasant peace of being home. You have been a path to our home for many, your stones bearing the footprints of friends coming to receive welcome.

Goodbye, Virginia roads. 287, 9, 7 … your Virginia byways have been our road to church, work, friends, business. We have spent countless hours driving up and down, basking in sunlight, gazing at fields and clouds, noticing new little details of delight each trip here and there. I shall miss the fields and founts of your beautiful countryside.

Goodbye, dear friends, one and all. Our delightful landlord family upstairs, the sweet fellowship of our church body, friends here and there and everywhere. Truly, it has been a joy to walk through life with you all in this past year and a half, speaking truth to one another and sharing the sweetness of God’s grace. He is faithful and has brought us thus far with bounty and blessing.

And so, with sadness and yet with peace, goodbye, my Virginia. Both my newlywed days and my days of new motherhood have been so very sweet here, and I shall always hold you dear in my heart. May your countryside continue to be a place of peace and joy, and may God’s truth ring out amidst your hills so that even the rocks cry out His praise.

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