LENT 20 ~ A Goodbye and a Boat Row

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          Somewhere in the purple shadows of an old day, someone went out on the boat, to the chorus of farewelling birds, heading for a distant shore. No one stood among the reeds to wave goodbye.

          No one knew.

          And later, as the night winds picked up, and the world slept, the boat returned empty, from a journey willed not by God, but by the heart.

          A young soul had left this world.

          No one stood in the wet sands watching the ripples return. No one knew.

          The young mother wearied by life and its loop of struggles chose the day to row her boat away from shores she had known all her life. She had in error surmised, this life, its twists and turns, the sands, the pebbles, the rocks, were jagged outcrops on a journey meant for others not her.

          After all, wasn’t the path to heaven supposedly wide and strewn with roses?

          So, she set sights on a distant shore where the sun dimpled peacefully in the quiet ebb and flow of waters; where the reeds swayed in the lilt of gentle winds, and no storm clouds ever held court.

          She didn’t know that the way to that gold-blessed shore was by the Cross.

          She wrote a note and said goodbye, stilled her grief and mind, and took her leave of this world meant for others not her.

          When her darkness remained unlit by light, her child found the note no mother should ever have to write, no child should ever have to find. And read of a goodbye and a boat row across the lake to a distant shore that didn’t know pain.

          The young one now vigil keeps, in the wet sands among the reeds, watching the ripples return bearing the secret deep.

          A note. A goodbye. A lifetime of anguish bequeathed.

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