The flip side of the goodbye coin is the promise and potential of saying “hello to things that are new, different, and often better.”
Beyond that, there’s also the possibility, and sweet anticipation, of being reunited with those who are special to us, and from whom we may be separated by time, distance, or even death.
One of my favourite quotes around this is from Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach:
"Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."
I first read Illusions just before I traveled to New Zealand and Australia in the late 1970s. I’ve read it several times since and am always inspired by its themes, many of which are being explored more deeply in today’s “new age” bestsellers such as A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle.
From an earlier era, and thanks to MailOnline and YouTube, comes this happy story of a reunion:
John Rendall and his friend Ace Berg bought a young lion cub from Harrods in 1969. They named him Christian and kept him in the basement of their furniture shop in Chelsea. He lived there, like a king, for a year, and became somewhat of a local celebrity.
When he then grew to 185 lbs, Rendall and Berg knew they couldn’t keep him any longer. With the help of George Adamson (of Born Free fame), they released Christian into the wild in Kenya. Aferward, they made sporadic visits to Kenya, but mostly followed Christian’s adventures from afar.
This excerpt from the MailOnline article tells what happened next (click here for the full article):
Finally, in 1974, George Adamson wrote to say that the pride was self-sufficient. Christian was defending it. There was a litter of cubs. They were feeding themselves and rarely returned to camp.
The King’s Road lion had finally adapted to the wild.
This was a bittersweet moment for all concerned. Rendall and Ace decided to travel to Kora one last time, in the hope of being able to say goodbye, though Adamson warned them that it would almost certainly be a wasted mission.
"Christian hasn’t been here for nine months. We have no reason to think he’s dead – there have been no reports of lions poached or killed. But he may never come back," he said.
Rendall recalls, "We said: ‘OK. We appreciate that, but we’ll come anyway and see you.’"
They flew to Nairobi then took a small plane to the camp in Kora, where Adamson came out to meet them.
"Christian arrived last night, " he said simply. "He’s here with his lionesses and his cubs. He’s outside the camp on his favourite rock. He’s waiting for you."
Adamson and his wife Joy often talked about the mysterious, apparently telepathic communication skills of lions – particularly between lions and men.
Here’s a short video of Rendall, Berg and Christian’s story:
If the video isn’t here, try this link to YouTube.