The journey to this graduation moment, my son, marching squared, bearing the Bravo Company flag with a sharpshooter badge on his chest – the journey to get here often felt like the memory of crossing my great-grandmother’s swinging bridge.
The journey to this graduation moment reminded me of the time my 6 or 7 year old self plucked up enough courage to cross that bridge up high, a swinging bridge with loose rope railing, slated inconsistently.
I made it half-way before a teen cousin preying upon my fear hurtled across, his thumping feet causing that bridge to swing, to bounce raucously.
Crouched down in fear, paralyzed, I stared at the wide empty slots
where the missing slates should be,
not knowing how he would pass
without me falling off.
shaking fear, tears fell
I don’t remember how I made it to the other side, to safety.
All I know is that I didn’t turn back.
I didn’t give up.
Somehow, one-step at a time, I journeyed forward and reached safety, knee-wobbly relief, peace, contentment.
Like that little girl who reached the safety of solid ground ,
today, I can’t figure out if I feel like a caterpillar in a cocoon
or fragrant tea leaves steeping until just right
or an expectant mother nesting before birth
or a narcicuss paperwhite bulb waiting in the cool sun to bloom
or a question waiting for its answer
I just know that right now, I have pulled the blanket
of my family around myself
and burrowed, feet reaching to touch the toes of my children and husband
wanting the warm joy of my Lord to seep down into my soul
and raise up authentic laughter and smiles
that this faith journey, of seeing slates in empty slots,
has led to to the substance of things hoped for
walked out on a parade ground one cool November morning.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)