As a die-hard traveler, it still amazes me that over 50% of Americans don’t have a passport. How is that possible? I am on my 4th or is it 5th passport? Old ones are saved tenderly with their stamps to exotic destinations, bent pages, creases, folds and a permanent curious curve of the passport itself. Kind of like I’ve had it in my backpocket all the time, but I haven’t. Those passports trigger memories of places, people, experiences, successes, mistakes, loves won and lost, with a sweet-aching the Brazilians call ‘saudade’.

Last year, I had to add pages to my existing passport. The stamps are coming faster and more furiously. It’s as if the realization of Don Henley singing, “There’s just so many summers, so many springs” is an imperative, a magnetic inescapable pull. Yes, just how many summers and springs are in our future? Of that, no one can be certain. But I’m certain of one thing and it’s so close and personal I can almost feel and taste it. That certainty is that I know my time is finite, like sand thru the hourglass. That is the good news. I am one of the lucky ones. I know to cherish the days & months on a calendar. Not because they are guaranteed, instead because they are a coveted promise of a future of more tomorrows.

So my passport is more than the legal document of my nationality, it is my passport to future summers and springs (and falls and winters, too). It represents my wings into the future; and my continuing quest and adventure to discover the world. And, not surprisingly, discovering the world opens vistas into the depths of who I am, and my place in this world, as well.

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