25 Reflections: Leaving

We left Kaysersberg today. Last night we had dinner and then walked through the village one last time to say goodbye. We said goodbye to the cuckoo clock shop, the 500 year-old bridge, Albert Schweitzer’s house, the gingerbread store, the castle, the bakery, the charming asymmetrical white house, the cookie store, the village cat who wanted to be petted, the chocolate shop, the adorable toy store, and the cathedral and her ringing bells. The village windows all glowed a soft amber, as they always do at night, just before the village pulls the starry sky up and over itself like a blanket and everything settles into a deep sleep.

We left early this morning because we wanted to attend church on our way to Zurich. As we drove, we said goodbye to the vineyards and the neighboring towns. At one point, Matt noticed some castle ruins up on the hillside and said, “Goodbye castle ruins that I meant to go see but never did.”

I chuckled and pointed out that we maybe didn’t do all of the things, but we did most of them.

“Yes, we really did,” he said, gratefully. We have had many talks lately where we both have just marveled that this adventure happened at all. He then surmised, “I wonder if this is how I will feel at the end of my life. There will be a few little things that maybe I didn’t get to do or wish I would have done differently, but more than anything, just overflowing with happiness that I was here and had the experience.”

I really hope this is how the end of life feels. As we drove away today and I began to process the experience holistically, I was struck by how much love I felt for ALL of it. Any regrets I have, or mistakes I have made along the way, or any of the things that made me angry or annoyed have just kind of folded in with the rest of it. They became their own little thread adding dimension to a big, beautiful tapestry of an experience. And as I reflected on the glorious highlights, the random quirky encounters, the slow moments of reflection, and all the things that were hard and asked me to grow–there is nothing I would change about any of it.