We Were Here

Andy Livingston
Andy Livingston


Many who know me know that I was a missionary in Italy for two years. I’ve always looked back on that time fondly (even if with rose-colored glasses). I think I tend to do that with any significant period in my life, and, as I get older, I find that there are more and more of those times to look back on. In any case, almost 13 years after returning from my mission, I went back to Italy for the first time in 2014. As I walked the streets I used to walk as a near-child, I was struck by how familiar everything felt. It was as if I could have turned the corner and they would have all been there. I missed them. The buildings, the smells, the shops, even some of the people were the same…they had been going on for the last 13 years without me, and I showed up a time-traveler wondering where everyone I knew had gone. I wished I could have been there with them again, but maybe knowing what I know now, and knowing that I was going to be okay, because I don’t think I knew that then. In spite of its challenges, I continue to hold that time among my most sacred of memories. Thank you for sharing that moment with me. It matters that you were there. It will matter that I was where I am in this moment.

 How did it go so fast?


Down at the crossroads there

I stopped to stare

and heard a chorus in my mind

It sang your melody:

A memory

I hummed along and smiled


but we can’t go back

It’s a one-way track

Down this road that

we call time

and I hope you will

remember still that

you were here

and so was I


And then much further down

I turned around

To catch a glimpse of where it goes

I heard your echo say,

“Those were the days.”

but everybody knows

that we can’t go back


So did you change the way

you spell your name?

we were silent consonants

back there on the edge

of carbon’s stage

counting all of our diamonds


and holy, yeah we were holy

and wholly oblivious

Take Me With You

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