Poem For A Friend Heading Off On A Trip

We have a friend who is leaving us for awhile.
He is going to see the world.
It is like that sometimes.
People love you but there are times they have to leave you for awhile.
For their own reasons.

It is hard, but it is like that.

You don’t like it but you have to accept it and wish them well.
You wish you didn’t but you do.
Because you love them, and you want what is best for them, even if it is sad for you.

That is how it is when you are grown up.

He is going to see the world.
And there is a lot to see.

We have some tips for him before he goes.
Friends always give tips.
They are as important as good luggage and hugs before getting on a plane.

I know of a tree in a castle on a bustling city street.
People drive past it every day and never even notice.
There are a million special things people miss all the time.
Like the man handing out four leaf clovers one day on a corner in that same place.
He gave me a handful once as people kept walking past.
Or the signs on the telephone poles that say “Jump” with a phone number
As if we could all change our lives and bound headfirst into our destinies
Just by dialing our phones.

People are too busy running by to see the marvels all around them.
Don’t be now.  Or ever again.
Otherwise why bother going off to see the world?
Why bother trying?
You’ll never see anything unless you start looking.
Start today.

Be sure to climb mountains.  Volcanoes too.
But be sure they are extinct first!
Swim in streams. But be careful:
Some are cold!
Notice little things.
Like how sometimes butterflies take a break from flying
And just glide.
Or how the wind sounds different different times,
depending on what kind of tree it’s in.

Eat whatever you want.
Vegetables will always be around.
This is an adventure after all.

Do whatever you want every day.
This is your adventure.
You have taken care of other people for a long time.
Now take care of yourself for awhile.
You have earned this time in the sun.
It’s your time and your sun.
Bask and play.
Just you and the sun.
No justification necessary.
And if anyone doesn’t understand or doesn’t like it,
They can find their own sunspot and do what they want there themselves.

And realize too that sometimes wonder is just in your own backyard after all.

Some people travel a lot and never see a thing.
Some people stay home and see the whole world.
Be one who has the best of both.

Not everyone will be nice to you.

But we are only a phone call or a postcard away.
And the stamp upside down means we love you.

When you are done with your travels come on back.
In your own time.

We will be waiting for you.
You have a place here too.
In our hearts.

–msk, phd

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