Flash Flood

May 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm (Ruminations.)

It’s stunning how memories can pop up and catch me off guard. Like when I was a kid, and I would hide around the corner, jump out at my grandmother and yell ‘BOO!’ Only today, this time I’m the one on the receiving end of the shock, caught off guard, heart racing – aching – and a little shaky from it all… and having to sit in the feelings that surface, and just feel… which I have no practice doing because I’ve spent the last 32 years of my life intentionally NOT feeling.

I don’t know why so much sadness is coming up right now. And I guess it doesn’t matter why. My friend Kat told me last week “It’s OK to still be grieving. It’s wasn’t that long ago.” Genius, really, but something I had not put into concrete thought at the moment. A few days later I left for Zion.

Beautiful, beautiful Zion.

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The road trip is what set me off again, but only when I got into the passenger seat and left Roxy to drive. I soon as I kicked up my feet, a flood of memories came flashing back. It could have been two years ago. I could have been next to him in the driver’s seat, where I had spent

So.

Many.

Hours.

Driving miles and miles, hours and hours between somewhere beautiful and… somewhere beautiful. Feet kicked up, music pounding the night, tires pounding the road. Sometimes in blizzards, sometimes in rain, sometimes with the bright blue sky framing the shining sun. Just getting through the miles and miles of pavement to the treasure at the end of the road… which would usually include love, and family, and friends.

This time the treasure at the end of the road was all of those things, but at the same time… totally different.

I have been acutely aware this week of the gaping hole that has been left in my life. No matter the circumstances, there is a hole – a canyon – where a companion used to dwell. And now it is empty.

Sometimes the emptiness echoes in my day.

Driving up to Zion the tires pounded the road up and up and up through the hills, to the mountains. The peaks framed by the blue sky, and the canyons cutting deep and exposing the layers upon layers of time that created the valley. Each line representing another layer cut away by the river, another flash flood survived, with scars to show what used to be.

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And each layer was beautiful.

I have been walking through a valley in my life, and that gaping hole is echoing with the aching loss of my life. But God is filling that canyon with things and people that are so much greater than what I used to have, greater than what I could have imagined.

But in reality, maybe God isn’t filling that canyon, because maybe its OK for that canyon to just be. Maybe, instead, a mountain is being built next to it that is stable, and strong, and sufficient. And even though I have to walk through the valley of fire sometimes, climbing out of it will bring me to the place where I can look over it all and see the beauty of time, the beauty of the journey. With gratefulness and peace.

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Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

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