It wasn’t hard for me to leave home on day one; I knew I’d be back. “See ya in a year, guys. Later.” There was a party, and everyone was cheerful. Pops gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Even my mom didn’t cry.
It was tougher to leave Antigua and El Porvenir and Puerto Cabezas. I may never return to Guatemala to see Beatríz again. Or Javier and Luis and Carlos and Esther in Honduras. Or Marginee Callejas and Loyd Miguel and Jim Palmer in Nicaragua. I’m excited about the next destination, sure, but I didn’t want to leave just yet. I wanted this moment to freeze in time.
But it didn’t. Life moves. The next destination beckons. Hairlines recede, senses fade, and metabolisms slow. We glide from one site to the next, in anticipation of those meetings with the Marginees of the world, as momentary as they might be, and ultimately, we’re just left with a file of photographs, a smile, and a “Man, those were some good times. Now, where to next?”