Farewell and Godspeed
This week's song of the summer [the ultimate offering from Vicar Andrew's playlist this summer] is perhaps the greatest song about leave-taking ever written. "To Live is to Fly" by Townes Van Zandt is suffused with melancholy and gratitude.
Melancholy and gratitude...that pretty much sums up my feelings this week as I prepare to end my time at St. Paul. At first, it seems hard to believe that it's already been a year since I arrived. Then I start to I think back on all of the joys and challenges of this last year, on opportunities both grasped and unfulfilled, on what I was able to do and what I left undone...and suddenly it feels like I've been here a lifetime. This is such a testament to this community; I immediately felt welcomed and affirmed and empowered upon my arrival. You all have high expectations of your interns, and you have enough compassion and grace to allow us to flourish.
I've been told by numerous members of this congregation that "we mark the time we've been here by vicars," and then they'll count out the previous interns that they've spent time with over the years. I'm here to tell you this works both ways: I have been marked by my time here, in deep, formative, life-changing ways. So when Townes sings "Days, up and down they come/like rain on a conga drum/forget most, remember some/but don't throw none away," I feel it in my bones. This year has been so full of memories that I can't even begin to list them. I'm so thankful for all of the days I've gotten this year, and I will carry what I learned here long after I leave.
I thank God for my time here and what the Spirit has called us to together. What a blessing it has been to serve here, thank you from the bottom of my heart.