On Leaving & Weaving

Yesterday was the last day of the ISM 2014-15 school year. In the final two hour long general assembly, students were awarded for achievements in sports, for action taken in serving the community and for other accomplishments, such as finishing the Primary Years Program. It was great to see all these talented students on stage.

And then inevitably came the time of saying goodbye, to all leaving students and teachers. In our international expat community, there are always people leaving and new people arriving. Friends of our children, our friends, teachers. I have found it hard to get used to this. It is great to make new friends, but it is hard to see others leave again. When we lived in Peru, we never had this dynamic expat community living experience. We had a few other expat friends, and some of them left eventually, but others stayed. We were the ones who always left. To another city (twice), on holidays, or -after 7 years- for good.

But I am learning to live with it. I found a way of looking at it that makes it a bit easier. I have come to see our expat community as threads of different colours, all interconnected in a way. We may be friends, our kids may be friends, or we just know and see each other. We all have our place and roles in the community. It looks just like this weaving project that Malou did in school:

03 Kleedje_klein

And when somebody leaves, there is a gap. The cloth is broken, there are loose ends. It is messy, and painful. Connections are lost, it is not as it was before. But then, over time, new connections are being made, new threads are woven into the rug. The community functions as it did before, it only looks slightly different. The people that left are still being missed, as a memory of other times. But they will be woven into another community, they will find their place and mend some gaps there.

We have our place in the community and I feel connected to many wonderful people. I hope to stay a little longer and to enjoy being one thread in this colourful network.

{This post has been published before on eatpraylovelivewrite, June 18, 2015}


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