For my friend Nicole

This weekend sees the departure of my church’s youth director, a truly amazing and wonderful woman named Nicole, who has been there for ten years…spanning just about the entirety, thus far, of my family’s association with that church. The Wife and The Daughter started going there in 2003 shortly after we moved here from our nine-month experiment with living in Syracuse; I attended sporadically until after Little Quinn was born, when…well, I felt a need then.

Anyhow, Nicole has played a part for all that time, and now, her own life is taking her to other shores, as life tends to do. Leavetaking is never easy, even it comes on the cusp of a change for which we have long wished. Dougie Maclean’s song “Caledonia” speaks to this sentiment, and the various things that homesickness can bring to our hearts. You hear it in his words and in the wonderful melody, with its rises and falls; he knows that he is returning home, but even so, the farewells to those he knows wherever he is right now will be sad in themselves.

Here’s Dougie Maclean.

To Nicole and her family, Sláinte mhaith!

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