Meditations of a Farewelling Officer (a poem of sorts)

*This was written during our recent transition, but will find some resonance in those who also have moved and are still in the process of moving*

Woman packs parcel in post office
There is restlessness within the transition.
The yellow-lined note pages,
filled with seemingly unending “to-do” lists,
the cleaning supplies still needing to be purchased,
chores still requiring attention.
The smell of bleach and lemon scented chemicals permeate the house,
everything echoes on the bare walls
with the slightest footfall on empty stairs.

There is an ache in the pit of the stomach.
It wells up from anxiety, seeping from the pores
like the endless sweat of house cleaning…and scrubbing
as if to remove all traces of ones identity
within a structure that used to be called ‘home’.

This is the unknown
the purgatory of transition
The laborious slumber before the waking.
It is the funeral procession that keeps marching onward
its drummer thumping out the cadence of “clean, write briefs, clean some more“…
all the while the thought of “when does this end?” plays through the mind.

There is a mourning here.
A somber tune that echoes out.
The chapter, nearing its completion.
There is a sinew of connectedness
now, nearly severed…
it is found in the fellowship,
the friendship,
the family,
the corps member.
It is deeply embedded in discipleship and time,
woven into thousands of conversations
both deep and surfaced
the comradery, the laughter and the tears.

And, as the last sounds of packing tape
echoes in cavernous, vacant hallways
the closing of all of these possessions
so too closes the space between the farewell
and the welcome.

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