It’s early on a cool, moist morning in Maine. Sitting on my couch, I listen to the murmur of voices from the radio in the adjacent room. This early in the morning it’s the British cadences of Dan Damon as World Update reports on world events and the daily news. The washing machine gurgles then spins and warmed snaps and buttons rhythmically click in the dryer. My cat sleeps next to me, warming the side of my leg. Moments ago my sister and niece pulled out of the driveway facing a l-o-n-g drive back to South Carolina from our home in Maine. They were the last visitors to depart. The house settles around me. It’s the morning after.
This weekend family and friends from all over the East and Midwest arrived to celebrate my youngest daughter’s graduation. Our house hummed with conversation and laughter, vibrating with a joyful noise of reunion. Friday-night pizza and revelry segued into a Saturday barbecue and the “official” celebration. On Sunday we celebrated again—this time with a Father’s Day breakfast for the fathers in our group. The weekend brimmed with siblings, cousins, grandparents, friends, food and more food, balloons, cake, hugs, and laughter, punctuated by the clicks and flashes of cameras capturing these special moments.
Then came the good-byes as visitors departed in small groups, our number gradually dwindling. By yesterday morning only my oldest sister and niece remained. We explored the Maine coast and talked and laughed—sharing memories and making new ones—from Pemaquid lighthouse to Damariscotta to Land’s End in Harpswell. It was a thoroughly delightful day, ending with a seafood dinner at a picturesque Maine harbor. And now they, too, have departed.
I relax into the moment now, on the brink of summer, on the morning after. It’s early still and my family is just beginning to stir. There’s an undeniable easing as the last of the guests have departed and summer vacation beckons, but there is also sadness—a lingering poignancy. When will we gather again?
On this morning after, I already cherish the mornings so recently passed, and I give thanks for family and friends and for the love that motivated them to be here. The joyful noise of our reunion and celebration reverberates for me, warming me on this cool morning after and surely, for many mornings to come.