The birds around our home were in the throes of mad, secret avian joy, their calls ringing out in exuberance just as the early dawn rays began flaming the skies into golds and yellows and tangerines. One chapter of my life has ended today, and with it, hopefully, much of the darkness. Yet, I greeted the news with an unnatural calmness. For a moment, I wondered if it was because I was not being grateful enough. Nonetheless, I had to admit that I was also very tired, that having given all I had within me these past years, it had likely taken me beyond the point of celebration.
Still, reaching out to close the old gates behind me and to walk into this next phase of working life, I wished for some joy. Even a spark would have been welcomed.
But there was none. I was well and truly spent.
It was past twilight when I came to the readings of the final Friday of the month of the Holy Eucharist.
…they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
I thought of the calvary we had endured as a family these past years. Cut after cut of an invisible whip, days, weeks and months of it. Fear, anger, pain and shame. Choking grief. Over and over telling God, I cannot go on. I just cannot. Over and over, He had put His hand out to me,
Oh yes, you will.
Do not waver.
Keep going, you’re almost there.
Walk on water.
Meet Me at the other end.
I am already there.
Each time, impossibly, I would rise to my feet through the love of so, so many who would not give up on me, to let me fall to the earth and die. With their arms about me, each time I managed to stand up and to make my way forwards. On and on till I reached today.
Oh, for just a spark of firelight now at the shores of freedom.
Just as I was wishing for that special joy to sing once more, something made me look up from my writing. A quick scene on the tv.
A flock of Canada geese intent on their journey across the bluest of skies.
One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the Spring. ~ Aldo Leopold
In that tiny moment, I felt the spark. Even a heart still frozen in the old ice of winter knows that life is about to live once more when the geese are sighted in blue-shot skies.
For they are the heralds of true spring.