Time to leave Bilbao and return to the Bay Area knowing that what we left behind was unique and fulfilling. Boarding our familiar gray bus driven by our familiar driver Jorge was a mixed of sadness and happiness. Sadness because we were leaving with many happy memories of Venice, night trains, Paris with Christine and Franco, Bordeaux, Tolosa, Loyola and Bilbao, and happiness because we were heading home. We left behind 3 of our group who were off to other adventures in Amsterdam, New York and Barcelona.
If you asked each kid what they liked the most, you would get 17 different answers. Each had their own memories. I personally, will probably never see these kids again, but I too will have memories cherished even as my memory fades with age. I considered the time I spent with these teenagers a blessing. Like the first group that started it all two years ago, this collection of kids was unique. I wish you had heard them sing at the various venues, some scheduled some spontaneous. It would have warmed your heart to hear them and restored any waning hope in this generation that may have existed.
The moment I will cherish the most was the quiet moment in the room Ignatius spent recovering from his battle wounds. The lilting “Our Father” sung quietly and reverently in that little chapel touched a core so deep inside me that it is really hard to explain. It summed up the tour. Stoic as I am sometimes, that moment had me weeping uncontrollably and it was ok.
All are home. All are safe. All will wake up tomorrow knowing that each shared a special time together. Many thanks to Ella, Cecilia, Josh, Shannon, Ashley, Gwen, Carlo, Zoe, Bray, Paolina, Eddie, Leah, Gabe, Christen, Monica, Meghan, Eric and Celia and, of course, Chad for creating the memories. I know the CD will be outstanding and I can’t wait to see Leah’s video. And a special thanks to all of you that have followed this journey from the beginning. As for me, it’s 7 am European time so I will try and get some sleep.
and the chamber singers sang…