Today, he sleeps.
Yesterday, he dug a million little holes in my parents' backyard, tore a six inch strip of wall paper off the dining room wall and made an(other) attempt at my black leather shoes. He's tucked into a tiny little ball of puppy cuddling in the breeze on the edge of my bed now, but if you happen to wander by between classes, he's perched at the window atop my wooden step-stool, busily wagging his tale and wishing he could lick your bald spot. Granted, you don't actually have to have a bald spot for Regal Beagle to desire an enthusiastic hunt in your masses of hair to double check... I am *so* not the one who taught him this bad habit.
As I begin the adventure of collecting cardboard boxes for packing and marking things with post-its as "storage" or "move," I wonder what our lives will be like next year... missing our boy with the bald spot and lots of big changes looming overhead-- some surrounded by eager anticipation and others with a tight knot in my stomach.
I know it is important not to wish one's life away. I understand the importance of living in the moment and learning from everything. But sometimes seminary makes me long for the life that was meaningful and lived for the other. So many of my days are spent planted in books trying to grow new roots to strengthen my future in ministry while my personal experience hearkens back to a life of tending to the aches and hurts of the world. I am here because I wanted more education to prep for a life of ministry. I am here because the church recognizes the importance and significance of an education. I am here... and that is what matters.
Because of this, I am grateful for the ever-looming presence of internship... an opportunity to actively serve God's people and be fully immersed back in the broken and beautiful world to which I feel so called.
And yet. I (we) will miss him. Our year will be filled with too-short visits and too-few hugs and meals shared... too-few funny kisses to that soft little bald spot. But, oh, the joy of our reunion-- as a real family.
Yes. I'll keep telling myself this: We'll come back... with belly laughs and new friends; with great stories and new scars. Until then, I'll enjoy the days I get wrapped in my green prayer shawl with a sleeping (still-a-puppy) 32 pound dog... can't believe he's nine months already. Never thought there would be such simultaneous comfort and pain in the swiftness of time.