The Parting Glass comes on Pandora. I have to stop what I’m doing, still my hands, close my eyes to listen. The ache for heaven is strong today, the longing for a new earth.

I read this song goes back to Ireland and Scotland a few hundred years, sung at the end of gatherings of friends. And the idea of gathering with friends and then singing a song to end the night circles around my soul and captures a longing I can’t put into words.

And I wonder, as I listen, if I might have a disorder. Do I really know how to celebrate? Do I really understand the connection of community? Sometimes I wonder if I’ve ever truly touched the deep. Then I question if my hunger for authentic connection is unreasonable. The questions wear me out.

Hazelnut cream turns my coffee latte brown. Hers too. She knows how to celebrate. I take notes. We sit for a while, hands wrapped around the warm cups, children running through our own kind of play as we talk about things past and things to come.

This feels like home.

The dishes sprawl themselves out in my sink, waiting for the hot soap and rushing water. Friends came  last night and we shared a meal and our lives, all our kids laughing loud in the kitchen. We talked over their silliness, held tight to story-lines and connection even through the noise. I loved every minute of it.

We need to do this more often. Why don’t we do this more often?

The problem isn’t that I don’t  want to know you. The problem is that I forget how much, I forget to ask, I forget to circle the date on the calendar and plan to see you then.

As they pulled away from our house last night, I knew they would be home in less than two minutes. The tune weaved its way through my heart to my lips as I stacked the dishes and found the jammies for our kids.

“Of all the money that ere I had, I spent it in good company.

And of all the harm that ere I’ve done, alas was done to none but me.

And all I’ve done for want of wit, to memory now I can’t recall.

So fill me to the parting glass. Goodnight and joy be with you all.”