In dreamlike flashes, I begin to feel the finality of our time in Shanghai. Winter, which when we lived it, we all thought it was certain and solid in it’s grasp, forever catching at us, is gone. Magnolia trees have blossomed and faded. Cherry trees are leafing out and I’m no longer afraid of the chill.
In a week we’re gone. We leave our home as we have so many times before. But this time it's forever.
Lyra and I will fly first to London where she’ll have another surgery. I’ll stay with her, cocooned in our hotel room through long nights of jet lag. And when we can’t be inside any longer, we’ll walk the empty streets, it will be sharp in the cool not morning, and everything will be soft, magenta and lilac at the edges. We’ll go for miles following the story of the streets, walking and walking and walking until the city is awake again.
We’ll be together her and me, and that familiar boredom, winsome and worthy, will again expand to the border of our days. But finally the heaviness of these past weeks will clear, and we’ll rest in the restlessness of waiting rooms and hospitals. We’ll rest in the restlessness of embassy lines. We’ll rest in the restlessness of waiting for our new lives to begin.
And when it’s time, we’ll pack our bags (eccles cakes; baby formula; rare and prized spices; favorite pens; summer clothes; shoes in size 47; objects that are treasured by those among us who live away), and we’ll fly a new path, London to Kuala Lumpur, we’ll look out the window and feel in our hearts this new home is already good and waiting. We’ll join our people, ready for this new and precious life.