To Leave Is to Die a Little

Posted by Edith Cook on Monday, March 5, 2012 Under: Reading Life
 Considering how often I have pulled up roots to settle in another place, to go on a three-week travel should be no big deal, especially since the places I'll visit are hardly unknown to me--the pictures above are from a visit six years ago to my birthplace, Leipzig. Still, as I am packing to leave for a vacation in Germany, scheduled for March to mitigate altitude-related insomnia, I am hounded by misgivings. As always, the possibility that I might not return cannot be discounted: so many adverse things can happen to a traveler away from home. It's only now that I begin to grasp why Darold was so terrified the first time I announced, if he was disinclined to accompany me, I would visit my home country on my own. (We had met in Germany, and Darold had promised, once he passed the bar we would return there for a much-needed vacation. It was one of the reasons I diligently typed the course outlines he used as his study guide--in those days, prep course for taking the bar were nonexistent.) 

Anyway, that long-ago Germany trip was the first time of many subsequent travels I undertook on my own. You'd think I had gotten accustomed to the anxieties that accompany their preparation. I haven't. I think of children and grandchildren I may never see again, should I be unlucky enough to succumb en route. "Partir, c'est mourrir un peu," goes the French saying, which I learned when I left for France as a young woman, bidding adieu to Germany the first time.

Since then,  good-byes have happened more often than I wish--and not just because someone took off for another country. Sometimes the destination is one of no return, as in "Death comes knocking." It's a frightening thought even when one enjoys reasonably good health--sometimes, one's own exigencies have nothing to do with fate snuffing you out. And, although this can happen in the security of your own four walls, it seems a more dire prospect when en route to someplace else.

In : Reading Life 

Tags: "travel" "leaving for places unknown" 

About Me

Edith Cook Though I now live in Wyoming, I make frequent return trips to California with visits to travel club members along the way. At home I play classical guitar, enjoy gardening and cooking, and participate in group yoga. Getting together with family and friends is high on my agenda. I value people who write or make music and love it when my adult children and their offspring play their instruments, sing songs with me, or discuss what they read and write. Such gatherings help me cope with the losses in my life, which have been severe. Next year I hope to visit family in Germany.



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