Only a signal shown, and a distant voice in darkness;
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow "Tales of Wayside Inn"
What a sad poem! Yet, in some sense that is what I am experiencing within my soul. The semester has ended and my job as a shuttle bus driver for the community college is over for this school year. I drove students from one campus to another. Most of the riders I did not get to know. They either talked with a friend, but even more so, they hid themselves in their ear buds, a few in their books. Some of the students were a little more open, the walls fell, and conversations between the driver and the rider ensued. A friendship to some extent occurred.
I connected with some people I will never see again. They have either finished their schooling or will be moving on to another school. Some students might not return; some might not even know that yet. What are the chances that I will meet that man who is going off to another university to become a nurse? What are the chances that I will see the lady who is heading off to Nevada or Florida, so she can learn how to counsel veterans with PTSD? The list could go on. There is sadness and grief.
I think there is also grief for those I did not get to know. Maybe even more grief to those I tried to know but got re-buffed. Either way, I feel sadness and grief.
There is not only grief over the students, but my supervisor is retiring. One of our members at our church is leaving. Sadness. Grief. People came into my life, and not they are going. This is all a part of life.
Thankfully, there is one who will not leave me or abandon me. We won't pass in the night. He won't ever disappear. It is an eternal friendship. That relationship helps me through all these temporary ship passings. That relationship helps me in the midst of this world of darkness, light, and darkness and silence.