Friday morning, rain drummed on the windowsill and shimmered on the street.

My friends Phil and Rebecca planned to move to The City of Brotherly Love the next day. It was time to say goodbye.

Rebecca and I met at the Co-op, leaned back in our chairs, and sipped cold ginger tea. There is a peace and contentment that settles down when we sit together. We told stories, laughed, and tried to build a bridge to this new distance.

Rebecca gave me the gift of her favorite novel: SUITE FRANÇAISE by Irene Nemirovsky. Written by a Jewish woman who died in Auschwitz during the war, the story takes place in Paris during the Nazi occupation of 1940. The handwritten manuscript, only recently discovered, remained hidden for sixty-four years.

I made Rebecca a card from a picture I’d found in an old National Geographic magazine –trees bathed in the glow of an ethereal sunset. And I wrote: “The Lord bless you and keep you … the Lord make his face to shine upon you … the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

Off to a place of study and exploration, Phil and Rebecca’s move will lead to the flourishing of their minds and talents.

Yet, “parting is such sweet sorrow.”