"So many out-of-the way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible."
Lewis Carroll's, ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
At one time it seemed impossible, inconceivable to me that my mischievous little boys would grow up and grow away. Much less.....
become SO independent. SO eager to explore and experience other places and people, other ways to live, other ways to think and navigate the world...leaving mother and father behind to reacquaint themselves with their empty nest.
After a year away living in New Delhi, my elder son returned home for a bit to regroup...apply to graduate programs, explore near-future job opportunities and restore himself mentally and physically (via Mom's home cooking, clean air, and less congested surroundings) before embarking on the next phase of his unorthodox life path and heading back to India.
I had gotten used to his presence at the kitchen table, writing and translating daily...his not infrequent or unkind reminders that he was concentrating and that my attempts at conversation were distracting. Still, his quiet presence was comforting. At home, at the table, close at hand.
But yesterday he left home again. Back to India, back to his ex-pat friends living exciting and difficult and crucial lives abroad. This time for a semester's duration, as a visiting lecturer for the University of Virginia, his alma mater.
Just before Christmas, my younger son graduated from the University of Oklahoma. And almost immediately thereafter left for an extended visit to Southeast Asia. Today Thailand. Tomorrow Cambodia. Then Vietnam.
With both boys gone for a while I am left to wax nostalgic, examining old photos, marveling at the passage of time...
and re-examining the hows and the whens and the whys and the wonders...of our unfolding lives,
and how we all are carried away by them... and back again.