Over a lifetime, we cover a great deal of ground. Our life path can take us to some amazing places. Sometimes the path that leads us there is easy. Clear as day. We place one foot in front of the other and have time to enjoy the view, the scent of the forest around us. Energized by the very sun itself.
Other times, we find that path obscured by the new day’s fog. We can no longer tell north from south, east from west. And we are lost.
Standing there, sometimes for years, we find ourselves still.
Motionless against this thick force.
Blind to the beauty that surrounds and unable to navigate.
Although I would love to say that I have spent the majority of my life on the easy sunny path, the latter sums up most of my journey.
Up until a few years ago, my life was at best a visionless walk through a thorn filled forest.
I was left bruised, blood-stained and mutilated beyond recognition. This was all my choosing of course, my path, my choices that lead me there.
That time, meandering listlessly in the fog like a war shocked civil war soldier left me with a shell of a soul and no heart to speak of. I was there for so long, I still bare those scars deep.
From time to time I toss and turn haunted by the years of wandering. I can hear the voices that called out of the fog to bring me forth. Lost as I was, slowly dying on the precipice of life, I shut my ears against them.
I believe that all of us are given a moment. One moment where the sun cuts through and shines brightly on the right path.
In that moment, it is up to us to choose.
We can continue in utter desolation, or call it dissolution, thinking we are fine.
Or we can accept that light and follow the path out of the fog.
Plato’s “The Cave” comes to mind. In the story men spend so long in the darkness that, when offered a chance to come into day, they cringe at the thought considering it painful and unnatural.
We too can spend so long in the fog, lost in our way. Comfortable in the pain. When an opportunity to walk in freedom arises we shun it.
The sun hurts our eyes and that pain is unbearable partially because it is unknown. Better the beast we know than one unknown.
For me, the sun that broke through my darkness was my wife. She reached into the thickets to pull me out and raise me up.
Like the people in the cave, I fought and fought hard.
I wanted to, and from time to time still, find comfort in the dark abode and the warmth of my own blood. And yet, like the sun forcing through the clouds, she fought. In the end, I was pulled from my knees and into the sun.
And what can be learned from this. Namely, that grit is the truest expression of love. Any path is difficult and rocky and hard. That of love is no different. But its not a path taken alone. Two bodies, one soul searching the earth and time together. In the thickets, in the dark. Through the crags, upon the rock.
And goddamn if it isn’t the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
The places we have gone, the children we have and are raising, the mundane. These are all things of beauty the likes of which I had never noticed.
If you’ve ever flown perhaps you can relate.
You enter the plane on a drab dreary day. It’s not quite raining but it is certainly not sunny.
The clouds hang thick and low and cover the runway like a blanket of ghosts.
As the plane begins to ascend, it cuts through the blanket.
You’re jostled and tossed about.
But then there’s this moment. This beautiful moment when the plane reaches a breakthrough.
You’ve just cut above the clouds and the sun is shining. Its warmth showers through the window beaming into your eyes.
From this vantage point, far above the fog, you settle down and realize that all is right with the world. The sun is still shining, it just happens to be above what you could see from the ground.
All is not lost. I hope that we can all take a moment and live above the clouds. I sincerely hope that you have someone that help you fly there when you need it most.
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