The Last Time 

I often think about what a rare thing it is to know we’ve done something for the last time: a last kiss, a final round of golf, the last time we see someone. Typically that day is banal, with no indication that a shift in life, large or small, will somehow result in our never returning. I recently had an enjoyable and intimate conversation with a dear lifelong friend, and after hanging up I thought, “And that’s probably it. Unlikely we’ll ever speak again.” – at our age, being on different continents and in different places in life.. the smart money is on that call being our last. More often though there’s nothing to suggest finality – the day is like any other and we’re casual in our assumption there will be another.

Twenty-some years ago I’d recently married and was about to leave my home state of Minnesota, and my hunting partner invited me to a day of Woodcock hunting. We’d hunted them many times over the years, and the day was poignant as I was very aware that this was going to be our last time – married and leaving the state I knew life would fill up with new responsibilities, and soon a baby erased any thoughts of a solo trip home and into the twigs. I still think of that day every September. 

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