Taken from Reader’s Digest, May 1976, Personal Glimpses, page 72.
Former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas replied to a letter from his fellow jurists expressing sadness at his retirement:
“I am reminded of many canoe trips I have taken in my lifetime. Those who start down a watercourse may be strangers at the beginning, but almost invariably are close friends at the end.
“There were strong headwinds to overcome, and rainy as well as sun-drenched days to travel. The portages were long and many and some very strenuous. But there was always a pleasant camp in a stand of white-bark birch, and there were water concerts at night to the music of the loons.
“Inevitably there came the last campfire, the last breakfast cooked over last night’s fire, and the parting was always sad. Yet, in fact, there was no parting, because each memory of the choice parts of the journey – and the whole – was of a harmonious united effort, of fulfilling and beautiful hours as well as dull and dreary ones.
“The greatest such journey I’ve made has been with you, my brethren, who were strangers at the start, but warm and fast friends at the end.”
– New York Times
I hope I can found someone that both of us share that kind of feeling :).