Back at the start of this year — or the very end of last year — I noticed I was collecting 'lasts'.
As the time for our move from California approached, and in particular my drive from California to Missouri, I discovered I was making note of 'the last time I'll do this'.
The day I left on the start of a 2,007-mile journey I took a number of last photographs of the lake in Foster City — like the one here. It serves to remind me of the beauty that was there, and remind me to search for the beauty that is here.
In the days before, the weeks before, we had a last dinner at Heidi's Pies, a family restaurant in San Mateo. A place straight out of Americana, a place where you'll be called 'sweetie', no matter how unsweet you might be feeling at the time. Another last, a pizza (well, one each — they're small, honest) at Amici's East Cost Pizza, also in San Mateo. Very thin crust. Freshly made. Good service. A third last, Boudin. Now there's a taste of San Francisco. You won't find sourdough bread quite like that anywhere.
I notice that the 'lasts' I'm recalling are food related. Well, bread broken and shared is a deep-rooted part of human community.
We'd already had the last celebration with the Emmaus Community. Again bread broken and shared, both in the sacramental meal of the liturgical celebration and afterwards in the shared potluck as we bid farewell to friends we'd come to know over decades.
There are many other 'lasts' I collected: a last visit to the Highlands Resort operated by a husband and wife team we've come to know well, a last visit to an art gallery in Duncan's Mills operated by a husband and wife team of artists, a last visit to San Rafael for me to visit with my good friend.
It was good to take the time to stop, notice, remember. It's a part of conscious living, something with which I have a checkered history.
Now I'm collecting 'firsts'.