Today (and yesterday as it was an overnight flight) my youngest flew off to Europe to be an expat in Germany. (Her brother left 7 years ago for his career.) Now my house is empty except for me and my Papillon dog, Jasper and an aged white cat named Blue. I will miss her, but, I’m so excited for my daughter to begin this fantastic journey! And – I get to go visit her!!!
Here is her first impression upon reaching Paris for a layover:
“I have officially arrived in the country of love and fashion…Paris. Sitting here in the Charles de Gaulle airport I am surrounded by a multitude of nationalities and languages that I seem to not be familiar of. The smell of the airport is exactly what one would think it would smell like – lots of cologne, coffee, pastries, and people. The passenger hall, as they call it, has finally settled down and I am finally sitting down to relax for the next three hours. I had difficulty at first finding my way around this small terminal but after speaking to the help desk (twice), a nice security man who spoke no English but understood 2F and walked me to the bus, and retalking to the nice help desk man who was outside for a smoke I finally found my way to the currency exchange desk and back to my terminal.
I am very much looking forward to finally being in Germany but unfortunately I have to wait about 5+ more hours. Customs in Germany will probably take a while to get through but once that is over I will have a two hour car ride, dinner, and bed to look forward to. I am excited to meet all the people who will be in my life for the near future and to get back on a horse. I have missed riding. I am also missing all of you back home but am comforted by all the support you have given me. I am happy to report that I am not homesick yet and hoping that I will not have a terrible case of that but am nonetheless expecting it to come.
Best wishes to you all, M”
Oh if only I were young again, I would do this too…
And this topic reminds me of a poem I read years ago in a book given to me written by Anne Bradstreet in 1659, where she compares her children to baby birds leaving the nest:
In Reference to her Children, 23 June 1659
By Anne Bradstreet
I had eight birds hatcht in one nest,
Four Cocks were there, and Hens the rest.
I nurst them up with pain and care,
No cost nor labour did I spare
Till at the last they felt their wing,
Mounted the Trees and learned to sing.
Chief of the Brood then took his flight
To Regions far and left me quite.
My mournful chirps I after send
Till he return, or I do end.
Leave not thy nest, thy Dame and Sire,
Fly back and sing amidst this Quire.
My second bird did take her flight
And with her mate flew out of sight.
Southward they both their course did bend,
And Seasons twain they there did spend,
Till after blown by Southern gales
They Norward steer’d with filled sails.
A prettier bird was no where seen,
Along the Beach, among the treen.
I have a third of colour white
On whom I plac’d no small delight,
Coupled with mate loving and true,
Hath also bid her Dame adieu.
And where Aurora first appears,
She now hath percht to spend her years.
One to the Academy flew
To chat among that learned crew.
Ambition moves still in his breast
That he might chant above the rest,
Striving for more than to do well,
That nightingales he might excell.
My fifth, whose down is yet scarce gone,
Is ‘mongst the shrubs and bushes flown
And as his wings increase in strength
On higher boughs he’ll perch at length.
My other three still with me nest
Until they’re grown, then as the rest,
Or here or there, they’ll take their flight,
As is ordain’d, so shall they light.
If birds could weep, then would my tears
Let others know what are my fears
Lest this my brood some harm should catch
And be surpris’d for want of watch
Whilst pecking corn and void of care
They fall un’wares in Fowler’s snare;
Or whilst on trees they sit and sing
Some untoward boy at them do fling,
Or whilst allur’d with bell and glass
The net be spread and caught, alas;
Or lest by Lime-twigs they be foil’d;
Or by some greedy hawks be spoil’d.
O would, my young, ye saw my breast
And knew what thoughts there sadly rest.
Great was my pain when I you bred,
Great was my care when I you fed.
Long did I keep you soft and warm
And with my wings kept off all harm.
My cares are more, and fears, than ever,
My throbs such now as ‘fore were never.
Alas, my birds, you wisdom want
Of perils you are ignorant.
Oft times in grass, on trees, in flight,
Sore accidents on you may light.
O to your safety have an eye,
So happy may you live and die.
Mean while, my days in tunes I’ll spend
Till my weak lays with me shall end.
In shady woods I’ll sit and sing
And things that past, to mind I’ll bring.
Once young and pleasant, as are you,
But former toys (no joys) adieu!
My age I will not once lament
But sing, my time so near is spent,
And from the top bough take my flight
Into a country beyond sight
Where old ones instantly grow young
And there with seraphims set song.
No seasons cold, nor storms they see
But spring lasts to eternity.
When each of you shall in your nest
Among your young ones take your rest,
In chirping languages oft them tell
You had a Dame that lov’d you well,
That did what could be done for young
And nurst you up till you were strong
And ‘fore she once would let you fly
She shew’d you joy and misery,
Taught what was good, and what was ill,
What would save life, and what would kill.
Thus gone, amongst you I may live,
And dead, yet speak and counsel give.
Farewell, my birds, farewell, adieu,
I happy am, if well with you.