The last few weeks have felt, as I’ve joked with friends, like my “farewell tour” of the West Coast. I spent a solid week of visiting with friends before leaving Victoria, often two-three coffee/meal dates in a day. While tiring in some ways – it was a lot of here and there – it was so much more rewarding and life-giving than a big goodbye party would have been. I cherish the chance to actually speak with people and have good conversations, and that just doesn’t happen in large settings at restaurants. Its been hard to say goodbye to the people I love and the place I have lived for so long, even though I know it is not goodbye and is more of a “see you soon”. My house and belongings were packed well in advance of move day and, as I had no furniture remaining save a couple of pillows and a camping mattress, I spent much of my time at other people’s houses and in coffee shops.
I have lived in Victoria since August of 2004. Sure, there was a two year period in there where I travelled extensively around China, Europe, and then on a ship in the Pacific, but Victoria has been my home. In fact, it is the longest I have lived anywhere since my first 13 years in the small Ontario town where I was born.
Christ Church Cathedral has been my church home and the centre of my spiritual community and the beginning of the my more recent, formal journey towards ordination, for the last five years. We said farewell last Sunday and it was tough to not know when I would be back inside that gorgeous building with all of the familiar and supportive faces of friends.
I have spent the last five days in Vancouver, continuing the “Farewell Tour” with saying goodbye to family and to friends here before I head to Ontario tomorrow.
Today I worshipped in another Christ Church Cathedral, in Vancouver. Again, some familiar faces and familiar spaces were there to greet me.
It is bittersweet, leaving the West Coast. I love it here. I love my friends, I love my way of life. Yet I am so very excited about what the next three years in London will hold and what things I will learn and the people I will meet and, perhaps, the places I will fall in love with there. And, BC, as I have said, it is not a goodbye. It is a See You Again Soon.
(And in the meantime, I’m going to head off and eat some more fresh sushi. Again. Because you never can have enough of that on the West Coast before moving inland!)