Nor’easter Quinn of yesterday left 5.5 inches of snow in our little community, but today the sun shines, the roads are cleared, and the snow is quickly melting away. My spirit feels a similar mixture of wintry weather and sunshine today. We had the mixed blessing early this morning of taking our granddaughter Katie (aka Katydid) to the bus stop. The bus will take her to New York City where she will “Uber” to JFK International. From JFK she will fly to the United Kingdom and tomorrow morning she and her husband Liam will be reunited. Their visa was approved and Katie and Liam will now “live together happily ever after” in the UK or as Liam once told me, “anywhere in the world.”
The word odyssey means “a long wandering or journey, usually marked by many changes of fortune.” It can also mean “an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest.” Everybody has their odyssey, their own unique journey or quest. One of the greatest joys I’ve known as a parent and a grandparent has been to observe, and sometimes even to participate in, the odysseys of my children and their children. It has also been a great gift (as a pastor) to be permitted to hear, to observe, and sometimes to participate in, the odysseys of others though the years.
Saying good-bye to my Katydid this morning was a bit heart-wrenching, feeling somewhat like the nor’easter of yesterday. Yet, on the other hand, it was heart-warming, too, like the sunshine and the melting of the snow today, as I remembered all that we have shared together. What other grandad can say he walked with his granddaughter on the French Riviera? Or spent a month with her in Grenoble, France? Or attended Easter worship with her at York Minster in York, England? Or traveled with her over the Alps from France into Switzerland? Or walked with her on the pier in Wales? Or shared a day with her looking for an apartment in Jersey City? Or helped her catch lightning bugs and toads long, long ago? Just the thought of having shared these “wee-moments” with Katydid melts away the inevitable feeling of sadness that came over me this morning as she left once again on her Odyssey; an Odyssey that seems to me sometimes to have the marks of a fairy tale. And just to think that I’ve shared a little of her Odyssey gives me great joy. It isn’t over yet. We plan to go “across the pond” soon.