I feel fine, she told me, as we watched her ten year old walk and then run along side the length of the fence bordering the dirt road. She had turned to the car without saying goodbye, not looking back on a decision made long ago to give him the best education she could afford, even if it meant leaving him. Even if she would have to turn her face as he ran alongside the car up on the hill until we turned out of sight.
We learn how to miss each other, the shopgirl told me days later, when I was standing in the airport, staring at overpriced crafts, wondering how I would ever get on the plane and put ten thousand miles between me and the ones I love. We each have our reasons, the salesman argued, when I claimed I did not want to go, even though it was long past time.
You will come back soon, the woman working security said, running through the pages of my passport, taking note of my face, long and pained.
I am learning again and again how little I know of what life requires. Don't you know this is life, Alex told me on the phone the morning I packed and left, to say goodbye to those we love?
I didn't know, I wanted to say, but I am learning. I didn't know there was a grace and miracle to be had in letting go.