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11 February 2018


Another Winterfest draws to its end. How many have we held, some might ask, and there is a number I could provide – an accounting of anniversaries – but, while factual, it would be an imperfect answer. Our coming together is the celebration of a bond that knows no temporal or even physical boundary - as though it ever was, it is and it will be…

Always.

A quiet is soon to come. I know this Great Hall will echo with my solitary footsteps, and my long, lone sigh, at once content and wistful, will sound loud in the emptiness. But that quiet will not be silence. The sweet music of your conversation, your laughter, your sorrows, will ring on, and I will stand in the middle of this chamber with my arms held out to receive the lasting gift of you all, day after day after day. We may be out of sight, but our friendships, our connections, transcend disappearance. You are with me, and I am with you …

Always.

Always … Such a father’s word, so I’ve been told. What a privilege it is to utter, but it is so much more than a word – it is my promise.

Though today we must part, I will always look forward to you. I will always rise to greet you with joy and deep interest. I will always see you, even through a veil of tears. I will always embrace you as if I might never let you go, except I will, for your adventures are my adventures; you walk the world for me – to the pinnacle of distances, you carry my heart.

Know that I will always be here. I will keep this place of safety ready for you – the many candles lit, the softest quilts folded across the foot of your bed in your waiting chamber, tea steaming in the pot, bread on the table – for this is your home … I am your home …

Always.

Until we meet again,

Father
Father

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