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The last 24 hours have been increasingly a time of silence for Beloved and I. Yesterday, we drove out to Bodega bay for the last crab sandwich and then north along the coast to Goat Rock State Park. It’s October so the sky was blue, the wind quiet, the weather shirtsleeve warm, the ocean eternally washing up and pulling back.

Today, we packed up, handed off the last set of car keys and got on board the shuttle bus for a ride to the airport. Beloved read about Germany and i watched the road go by. Petaluma Bridge. Olompali State Park. Novato General Hospital where I worked for a short while as a chaplain. The shopping mall of big box stores. The Frank Lloyd Wright Marin County Courthouse and the flat space where the farmer’s market happens. The secret back street exit for San Anselmo. The day I drove onto campus for the first  time with my daughter and my cat in the car and my worldly goods in a rental truck an hour behind me.  The exit for the Richmond Bay Bridge and San Quentin. The rich people’s shopping malls.  The lagoon by Mill Valley and the sea plane house. The climb up to Waldo tunnel and  the bridge. Always, the bridge that made me glad I lived here. Down 19th Street, the curve through the park. The never answered questions about who lived in these dark little houses facing this freeway replacement surface street that stretches its legs back out just past Brotherhood drive and heading toward the airport. On the hill, on the right, the In-n-Out + Krispy Kreme combo that was sometimes worth an hour drive to Pinole just to bring back a box for seminary friends.  Ten years here, ten years that I thought would be four at most and then back to Portland.  Packed in the sea box is the stuffed salmon pillow that I brought with me from Portland. Salmon return home after long voyages.

A change to an airport shuttle and then we walked out for lunch. This is our new life now. No car. A walk back along the waterfront and an hour of watching the planes take off and land. We thought we’d run into town for one last walk around but that time is done. We are done with this place now.

Instead, it turns out we need to sit together in silence and watch. Watch the planes, the people. the water, the time, the cars, the wind, the now.

and to finish letting go all that has been set free. (an old pair of boots, worn out and left behind in the hotel room in Rohnert Park).

(Beloved and me)

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