I’ve already seen snow this season, most inconveniently. Wove my car around telephone and electric wires bowed down by snapped tree limbs still dressed in their autumn best. Scooped up family history and plunked it elsewhere, much as I’ve dug out the tropical plants and repotted them for indoor living during the winter season. You can’t stay there — it’s not compatible with your biology. Your home is somewhere else now. Learn to like the other side of the glass.
Those transitions were expected. And given that the holidays of endings and new beginnings were rolling around, I had some other commemorations on my mind.
However — I wasn’t expecting to lose a friend I’d only been talking to days before. Yes, his voice had been labored during our last few conversations; he insisted it was a touch of bronchitis…yes there were other health issues that probably meant four-score and ten were unlikely. But I expected to be kvetching with him about academia, politics, and fine food for many years to come. He was someone I could disagree with, test ideas against, and along the way we could each see a bit more of why someone would hold opposing views. People like that are so very valuable — and unfortunately it’s increasingly easy to never meet them, since so many of us gravitate to places where our ideas are affirmed rather than respectfully challenged. To be honest, I didn’t meet him on purpose — his presence in my life was a gift from a friend of mine from graduate school, who, to bring the circle around, gave me the news yesterday evening. Part of me hoped it was some elaborate Halloween prank, but the obit has just posted….
Travel well, William. You have earned your rest.