There's something so beautiful about saying goodbye to the people/places/times in our lives that have brought so much joy to it. Saying goodbye makes you reflect and really appreciate what has become such an integral part of your life that you've stopped thinking about it so much.
For me, it's many things at the moment. This beautiful city that beat me against closed doors for so long, and then finally showed me the side way in. Generous friends that didn't back down from the language barriers, who kept urging me to claw my way through. Gentle teachers that I found so abrasive from the start. And even the regular faces that took months to soften their expressions from scowls to kind recognition.
Saying goodbye makes me appreciate all the work that we have done to feel at home here. It really does feel like home, and I know that I will have a flood of good feelings come rushing back when we visit in the future.
And an especially sweet goodbye to a blogging friend who has recently passed. Bobbie was one of my biggest supporters and spread jewels of wisdom and beauty into my life. She always made note of the bright side of things. A woman much after my own heart. I will truly miss hearing her written voice. My sincere condolences go out to her family, especially her daughter Kitty.