It's almost like she dances in and out of my life.

Truthfully, it's not like she ever really leaves. A child is always in her mother's heart and mind. But the hours that we are physically in each other's presence, talking, sharing and just enjoying one another's company, are so special.

And then the moment arrives. She thanks me for her wonderful stay and she kisses me goodbye. Her childhood room is once again empty and my downcast mood begins to mirror the gray clouds outdoors.

It's not that I'm unhappy about where she is going. Nor would I want it any other way. Together with her wonderful husband, the two are returning to their own lovely home, to their work, to doing the good things that they both do. To the life that they are building together. To where they are supposed to be.

And it's not that my home is now empty. She is my oldest; several of her siblings still remain. Our home will still be filled with the cheery daily noises and chatter of a lively bunch of young kids and teens, staying up till all hours of the night.

But she will be missed. Because each child is special.

So as she comes to say goodbye, I tell her how I hate goodbyes. And we plan ahead to the next time she will visit, in just a few short months.

As they walk to their car, I suddenly remember a beautiful Midrash explaining why we celebrate the holiday of Shemini Atzeret on the day following the festival of Sukkot, even though the day has no special commemorative significance.

The analogy is given of a king who invited his sons to a feast for a number of days. When the time came for them to leave, the king says: "My sons! Please, stay with me just one more day, for your parting is difficult for me!"

So parting is even hard on G‑d. So difficult, in fact, that He asks us to remain, after a number of days, just one more day.

G‑d is enjoying us. We too are enjoying being together with Him. Undoubtedly, we're gaining and growing in our spiritual focus by being in such close proximity to Him.

And yet, though He asks us to stay one more day, He doesn't ask us to remain forever. He expects us—and wants us—to take leave. To move on to what we are here to accomplish.

In fact this scene repeats itself daily. We pray. We intimately communicate with G‑d. We are in His presence, enveloped by His love and ascending to lofty heights. He is enjoying and we are enjoying. And then, we finish and He expects us to move on. To our daily life. To our daily business. To our work in this world.

Wouldn't it be nice to always be together? To relish each other's company? To spend our days surrounded by family, around beautiful holiday meals and rituals, away from the mundane pressures and tensions of everyday life?

It sounds nice. But that's not what our work in this world is meant to be.

Our job is to roll up our sleeves and change our corner of our world. Each of us has a special place, his own special home and his own special fate. At times, during the trajectory of our lives, our paths cross. In those gratifying moments, we meet and share. We meet and recharge.

But then we move forward to channeling our every encounter into a service of the Divine. In a destiny that is uniquely our own.