One of the biggest lessons that I took to heart while studying Buddhism (on the way to a Masters in Buddhist Psych) is that everything is constantly changing. Thus, everything comes to an end.
Case in point...
The voice of every past summer of my life has retired and gone quiet.
Long before I came along, Vin Scully was bringing the Dodgers to life for fans over the radio. He was there when, as a young boy, I committed myself to love the Dodgers forever. He was there all summer long as I grew up, became a man, and raised a family.
But everything changes, and I'll never hear Vinny call a (live) game again.
Perhaps no other sports fans know the lesson of all things coming to an end (or felt it deeper) than the heartbroken fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
For generations the Dodgers were the beloved team - the fricken' identity - of the borough. And then Walter O' Malley uprooted the club and moved it to sunny Los Angeles.
What was tragedy for those east coast fans was welcomed on the west coast. Nothing would be the same again.
It once seemed the Iron Horse's record of most consecutive games played would never be broken. Then the Iron Man came along and he played every game too, for even longer.
Until one day, he wasn't in the starting lineup, and his run ended.
Everything changes. Circumstances that we take for granted will be the same tomorrow can change without a moment's warning.
When I was putting together my list for Operation PWE, I was surprised (and saddened) to discover the passing of several blogs that had been part of our community long before my humble little blog came along.
I visited blogs of past trading partners to check on wantlists, and instead I found messages of goodbye and farewell. Bloggers I considered friends, and a couple I was barely acquainted with, had hung up their keyboards - and I never knew.
I get it. Collecting and trading is fun and easy - consistently scanning and writing, not so much.
Those blogs went dark without my knowledge because I was missing in action from the blogosphere for a good part of the year myself. The joy of blogging can become a slog sometimes. New circumstances in life arise, and suddenly there's no time for a hobby. Everything changes.
On the other hand, not every change of circumstances is tragic...
As the old saying goes, "When a door closes, a window opens". Bloggers retire and move on, just like legendary sportscasters. New ones will take their places.
I bid aloha to my old comrades who closed up shop in 2016. I'll miss your posts, but I look forward to what 2017's bloggers will bring.