I have been in this place before. Actually, multiple times. It’s almost embarrassing how often I’m here. I’m starting to think that it’s more of a rare occasion that I’m in the other places… As if here is where I was meant to exist.
I’m in that place where I’m trying to define my voice in the midst of his. Yes, his. The one that I’m to lose my life to to gain it.
Sometimes this all makes sense. Sometimes it’s so real that I can feel the breath of it gliding in and out of my lungs– Slowly, steadily, following the rhythm that gives life. And in those moments the meaning of life seems to burst in me like a blazing firework exploding in the darkest of night skies.
And then there are the other times when I sit and stare into the distance. Distance that seems to extend for forever. I contemplate the leaves on the trees and somehow that simple contemplation leads me to the depths of my soul. Mingling in and out of the mires of my utter disappointment, I feel trapped by the hurtful things that happen to humanity in this life.
The same life that can let you escape for a weekend of bliss into the mountains of Tahoe to inhale the sun that trickles from the leaves on shady trees down to your face and fingers and toes. That allows the erotic passion of the wind filled with fresh earth and pine to play with your hair and caress your body. To close your eyes and for a moment, to be perfect.
And then the exhale.
To hold your friend in your arms as she inhales the loss of her one and half year old son to a tragic car accident. Skin that was kissed by sunlight, is now burned by tears. Hair that made love to the wind, is now filled with day old blood as her body sits mangled and lamenting in a hospital room in Denver.
Yes, this is my tension. This is the place I’m in… Somewhere between Tahoe and Denver. Both affording mountainous beauty. But, only one will I ever want to return to.
And somehow, in some mysterious way, I find life in both. I find life in life and I find life in death.
Because it’s the death that makes my daughter’s hair smell that much sweeter as I hold her and rock her to sleep each night. It’s the death that causes me to stand to worship in the sunlight… As if my senses had been locked away in an isolated room only to be released into a field of white lilies in full bloom. This is what death does to me.
And yet, I pray everyday for pain and suffering to edge around me, as if it were a kid on a skateboard coming towards me on the sidewalk… Is he going to move? Why is he on the sidewalk? I hope he doesn’t plough right into me! Phew, thank God, he just missed me. Back to my walk.
Hmmm… if life were always like this.
My life is. I am a story of near misses. Caught in between grace and consequence. Brushing by fear and death enough to smell it and feel the breeze of it against my face, nonetheless always experiencing the powerful hand reaching down from heaven to pull me out of the raging see.
This is my story.