As the close of another year approaches, it seems a good time to reflect on transitions, those passages where much that seemed settled in our lives is suddenly up for grabs, and we must live for a while in a state of flux between the old and the new.

I have always thought the week between Christmas and New Year’s embodied this state. Many people are on vacation, and even those who aren’t are catching their breath after the rush of Christmas. Very little business is conducted. Things are quiet, slowed by post-holiday inertia, and by the fact that the week is an in-between time. Nothing really gets going again until after the new year – which often means mid-January.

I’m in a period of transition in my own life. My father is 80 and lives six hours away by car. My partner’s family is also in southern New England; since she is retired, she has no economic reason to stay here. Though we both love the area, we have decided to move back to Massachusetts.

So I’m not going to be writing this column for much longer; in fact, there will be just one more installment after this. And while I don’t imagine anyone reading this is reaching for a tissue, I hope it has meant something to each person who has read it over the last 14 months.

I will miss writing it, that’s for sure. The opportunity to think out loud, to share what touches me and what I value most profoundly has been a privilege; and the appreciation a number of readers have offered in response has been precious, indeed.

I have loved the Midcoast, its scenery, its people, the fascinating stories that await discovery in so many unsuspected places. Those I have come to know have been kind, friendly, interesting folk who have welcomed me with great warmth, utterly giving the lie to the stereotype of the dour, taciturn Mainer.

So I am really sorry to be leaving.

At the same time, I am excited about starting a new phase of my life: a new job, new, as-yet-undiscovered relationships, a new home. I’m also glad that I will be much closer to my dad, who is in assisted living in Hartford, Conn. He and I need to see each other more often than I can manage living 300 miles away.

And I look forward to resuming some of the friendships I left behind when I moved to Maine, and to going back to my old church in Worcester. You can go home again, as long as you remember that home has evolved in your absence.

It seems fitting to be contemplating this transition during Advent, a time of preparation for the bursting of love into our lives in unimaginable ways. A period when we await the birth of the One who makes all things new, when we consciously make room in our hearts for the God who dwells among us.

Contrary to what we tend to believe, we never know what lies around the next corner. That’s the gift of transition: it reminds us that, even when we imagine the future will be an endless repetition of the past, life can and does take us in new and unexpected directions. God, or the Universe, or Destiny or what-you-will jovially swats aside our plans and sends us something unimagined, and, if we open ourselves to it, something better.

I will leave a part of myself here in Maine, and I will take a bit of Maine with me wherever I go. And I will definitely come back to visit.

For my last column, I invite you to share a Christmas memory with me. I’d like to run a collection of your memories, and one or two of mine, to close out this series, and the year. Please keep your submissions to 50 to 100 words and remember that VillageSoup reserves the right to edit for length and suitability. And please get them to me via e-mail, at, by Wednesday, Dec. 8. Thank you.