The Space Between
As we roamed Madrid we found ourselves living in the space between when one thing ends and something new is about to begin.
Our great adventure, conceived over lunch in a neighborhood restaurant two years earlier, planned in great detail for nearly a year — and lived for the previous ten months — was coming quickly to an end.
Endings, no matter the circumstances, always come as a surprise to me. Where did the time go?
It seems like just yesterday we were wandering through Old Town Quito, wondering if we’d made some kind of crazy mistake by taking this trip.
Now, home was on the horizon: We’d be touching down at Washington Dulles airport in less than 48 hours. The fantasy we had been living would end; “normal” life would begin again.
On one level, we all knew it was time to head home. We were road weary and ready to experience the pleasure of a familiar place.
But I know my wife, and something was troubling Dani deeply.
“It’s not that I’m not ready to go home,” she told me later.
“It’s that I don’t want this time to end… Time with the kids, just us. When we get home, within days we’ll all be heading in our own directions. I’ve gotten so used to us all being together. I’m not ready to give that up.”
Later she added: “Do you realize that when we get home, we’ll only have Caroline for three more years? How can that be? It’s not just that the trip is ending. A whole chapter in our life is ending. It’s hard to let it go.”
I realized at that moment, for the first time, that it wasn’t about the trip, what we would see or wouldn’t see, do or wouldn’t do.
It was about stealing time.
As usual, my wife had figured it out long before me.