Mum and Dad's suitcases are packed and stand solidly at the end of the bed while they sleep. My smaller suitcase is full and a pile of things to take on the plane in a carry-on bag sits in a pile alongside. We're all moving out tomorrow morning: them, to San Fran and eventually Wellington... me, to Minneapolis. Our amazing month together has finally drawn to a close. When they got here the end of April seemed years away, and now it has arrived with a screech and a bump right outside the front door. This time together is almost over.
A box holding quite a few copies of my book arrived at home in NZ today. Megan and Matiu had picked it up for me from the courier there, and this morning while Mum, Dad and I skyped with Megan and Matiu I asked about the box and whether it had arrived okay. Matiu leapt up and went to the front door, swaying slightly as he re-entered the lounge and came back onscreen, holding a huge (well, beside him) and heavy (this would have been true for anyone, I suspect!) box. In front of the camera he excitedly opened the bax, and I asked 'Matiu do you know what it is?' and he replied 'it's your book Auntie' and then asked his Mum 'is it a chapter book?' When we told him it was, he got even more excited and announced that his mother should read a chapter of the book aloud over skype. The books finally made it through the packaging, and he held up one of the books, and turned to the computer (to me) and asked 'can I have one of these?' Of course I told him he could, and - and this made me teary, I'll admit - he picked up one of the copies and then held onto it tightly for the rest of our conversation. Megan agreed to read the beginning of a chapter, and read the first paragraph of the acknolwedgements page. Matiu heard his own name, and afterwards looked through that page to find his name written there in black and white. His face shifted when he found it: he was stoked, surprised, thrilled, excited. Me? I was crying. I mean, this is what this is all about.
Closed, open. Closed, open.
Life is about things opening and closing, going in and out. Its unceasing. Continuous. In out, in out, in out. In my part of the world, we'd call it a tide.