Ashes, 2 Ashes

It happened while I was watching a favorite TV series the other night. A young man was given his estranged father’s ashes to scatter as a memorial to him. He chose Eagle Lake, a special place in Alberta where his family had experienced “better days.”

I noted the reverence with which he handled that urn, and I instantly identified with him; I felt the sacredness of the moment.

It is marvelous to me that no matter the culture, no matter the religious or non-religious environment of a given place, the remains of a human being are considered sacred. [Of course, I am exempting in this statement the brutal, insensitive, and insulting treatment of the dead exhibited by persons bent on vengeful and angry retribution. I speak here of the norms of societies, not the aberrancies.]

I remember vividly how I felt when I saw my own father’s ash-filled cherry wood box in Tucson, Arizona. And when the time came for his memorial in Georgia (13 months after his death), I clearly recall how I felt picking up the cardboard box that contained that wooden box, mailed all the way from Arizona. My uncle was with me on that occasion; I remember we spoke of the unique feeling I was having, holding my Dad’s ashes. We may even have done so in somewhat subdued tones.

Because there is a sacredness about human remains. There just is.

When mother passed away several years later I brought her ashes home in a rectangular black hard plastic container. The ashes themselves were in a heavy clear plastic bag inside the container. And my wife said, “Don’t bring those in the house.” She was frightened, uncomfortable, ill-at-ease around them.

So, they stayed in the garage; the dark garage. And frankly . . . I felt guilty about that.

Because, you see – there is a sacredness built into my psyche about those remains.

When the date came for my mother’s memorial, my brother and I went into the garage together, and together we removed the plastic bag from the container, then maneuvered the bag of ashes into the narrow neck of the urn my uncle had purchased for the memorial.

The urn was carefully carried to the car (along with all the legal paperwork that goes with human remains – you see, even the law of the land affirms the sacredness of human remains), then placed on a stand at the memorial site. For the interment it was placed in a small urn vault, then carefully lowered into the ground. Respectfully.

And that is as it should be.

Life is sacred.

When life is valued properly there is respect; honor is fitting. It almost dwarfs the character of the individual who has died. And that amazes me.

It is as if life itself is so sacred its value cannot
be bound by the mortal container it enlivens.

I know that in our society some of the norms of the past have changed. People seldom get all dressed up when going out to dinner, or to special events, etc. And many of the social formalities of the past have been replaced by a casualness that frankly . . . I often prefer.

But . . . I do not want to change norms about the sanctity of life. Or respect for the dead. That is sacred ground.

When I was a boy I was taught that you should not step on a grave in a cemetery. Oh sure, there are myths and all sorts of other reasons given for such a custom. But . . . to this day I try to observe that custom. And I don’t think that is so bad.

We need to honor the remains of our loved ones who have departed. Abraham Lincoln pronounced sacredness on the ground at Gettysburg in honor of those who died there. And then he gave a charge to the living.

 And I wish to give a charge as well. We must always honor the memory of the dead, and in addition we must make it our goal to treat the living with that same sanctity, that same value, that same devotion.

Posted in Aging Parents, Family History, Fathers, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ants and Uncle

OK. So yesterday didn’t end up going exactly like I wanted.

I had just returned to the office after a quick trip to the bank, and had just enough time to check emails and phone messages before heading to the gym, then home.

I changed into my gym shorts (so I would be ready to dash out the door) and sat down in the swivel chair in front of the computer screen. I could not have been there more than a minute or two when I felt something biting on my legs. I looked down and there were dozens of ants on my socks!

I quickly began killing them (I apologize to any of you who do not approve of such violence), then felt them also in my pants, biting in places the FCC would frown upon me mentioning in a public forum like this. Yes, I literally had “ants in my pants” (for the first time in my life).

I ran into the bathroom, disrobed, and shook my shorts into the toilet. Then I returned to my office chair to look for stragglers. I did find three or four, but that is all. No trail to the nearby trash can, however. Puzzling.

Several ants were meandering around in my duffel bag, so I tried to purge it of the tiny adversaries as quickly as I could. Then I headed to the gym.

After walking on the elliptical for 15 minutes, periodically gazing at the swelling in my legs (welts forming quickly), feeling more bites on my feet, and now on my arms and back, I gave up the exercise idea and headed home dreaming of a diphenhydramine overdose.

While driving I had the sensation that my field of vision was occluding, and dark areas were encroaching around the edges. I kept breathing, trying to just get home as fast as I could while at the same time trying to stay aware of my level of consciousness . . . just in case I needed to stop the car and pass out somewhere.

Finally, I arrived safely at home. I quickly took off all my clothes, dumped them into the washing machine, put my shoes and duffel bag in the garage, took 75 mg of diphenhydramine, and lay on the bed naked as a jaybird.

The welts were well pronounced by this time. My breathing was becoming a bit raspy, too. Shortly my wife returned home to find a stark naked Kafkaesque creature in the bed. After a couple of hours the antihistamine worked miracles, and we applied hydrocortisone and lidocaine spray to the non-private areas.

As the night wore on, more antihistamine was consumed, and today the regimen has continued. Most of the welts are gone now, but have been replaced by pustules. This is not a day for me to wear a bathing suit. Let me put it that way, OK?

Tiny little insects, aren’t they? But they did me a world of hurt. And my only theory (by the way) is that I carried food in my duffel bag days before, something spilled, then the ants found it. But I don’t know that to be the case. My wife asked me, “Were they fire ants?” And I replied, “All ants are fire ants as far as I’m concerned!”

I have discovered today that keeping my legs elevated helps, but the itching continues, as does the diphenhydramine and other meds. I need cheering up. Pizza might do it! Ha!

At any rate, I have told my story about ants. The “uncle” part actually happened right after they bit me. That is, I said, “Uncle,” but they still didn’t stop.

I guess ants aren’t familiar with the tradition of a fair fight.

Ant bite welts on my legs. Not a pretty site. But . . . "you should have seen the other guy!" Ha!

Ant bite welts on my legs. Not a pretty site. But . . . “you should have seen the other guy!” Ha!

Ant bite welts on my leg; hand in the foreground.

Ant bite welts on my leg; hand in the foreground.

Posted in Comedy, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments


The Canadian family television series Heartland has certainly worked its way into our hearts. And, as per our typical pattern, we are watching it for the first time a full seven years after its release (thank you, Netflix).

We are in the first season (2007). And since the show is still being produced in 2014, we have a long way to go to catch up.

But Heartland has drawn us in. So, the remaining seven years of shows does not seem daunting; rather, a welcome distraction. We look forward to them.

Starring Amber Marshall, Michelle Morgan, Shaun Johnston, and Graham Wardle, the series is loosely based on the Lauren Brooke novels (ghost written by Linda Chapman) which first appeared in 2005.

The TV series is set in the beautiful mountains of Alberta, Canada (although the original stories were set in Virginia, as I understand it). And if you are not one who is enthralled with the west, wide open spaces, cattle ranches, and the romantic life of the rugged cowboy – don’t bother to engage.

I am. Enthralled, that is. With The West.

Our move to Arizona in the summer of 1963 exposed me to the intoxicating lure of The West. And my time living in Montana in the mid-1970s sealed the deal. I am hooked. I expect to die with one boot in The West; if not physically, then mentally, for sure.

But the longer I live . . . and the more places that I live . . . (the list is embarrassingly long), it occurs to me that what I truly love – in any and every place I have resided – is the wide open spaces. The mountains. The woods. The valleys. The lakes.

Open terrain. The wilder – the better.

As my Minnesota friend, Randy Stinchfield used to say, “I need a horizon.” Me, too, Randy!

The truth is, there is a bold and unmistakeably profound statement made when one is in the presence of pristine wilderness. I am not going to try to tell you what that statement is in this blog entry. Sorry.

What I am going to say is that I am touched deeply in my heart when I am there. I am properly humbled. Right-sized. Appreciative. And awestruck.

The human heart. The place where the mind is truly connected and in concert with human emotions.

There is a reason why we have created expressions like these:

  • “get to the heart of things”
  • “the heart of the matter”
  • “change of heart”
  • “take it to heart”

Your heart is where one can find what is really true about you.

It may be hard to get to your heart, because it is covered with so much armor and protective coating. But when you do get there, all there is – is true.

Each performer in the Heartland story has his/her own issues, his/her own back story. And it will be interesting to see how it all gets worked out. Or doesn’t, as the case may be. One thing is certain: the characters will be successful in their varied relationships in direct proportion to their genuineness of heart, i.e. their ability to see themselves and others as they truly are.

If there is subterfuge in the heart, relationships will suffer.

Maybe the writers and creators of this Canadian program intentionally named this Heartland because they knew that creating a place, a ranch, a terrain, a land where the heart is central would give them ample subject matter and call out to the part of us that aches deeply and smiles deeply.

Ya’ think?

You may not be enthralled with The West like I am. And the mythical cowboy and ranch life may not appeal to you in the least. Or the TV show may not catch your eye for one reason or another. No matter.

What appeals and calls out to every human who breathes a breath . . . are the issues of the heart. Your heart.

When the new website emerges later this summer, it will be addressing issues of the heart; derailments that get us off track and leave us in destinations we do not want to visit. Addiction, grief, disappointment, anger (to name just a few).

Are we destined to live our lives in a land that keeps us arms length from that for which our heart longs the most?

Or . . . is there truly a Heartland?


That’s me sitting on 4 year old Chico, in Clint Goben’s front yard, Anaconda, MT, circa summer 1973.

Posted in Family History, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The New Normal (Riding the Pipe)

Just over 13 months ago, on Easter weekend 2013, my wife and I began a new venture – we bought two iPhones. And ever since then life has not been the same.

For one thing, we ended up doing away with our land line and a phone number we have had for almost 20 years. Out of habit I still check for voice messages on the now absent digital message machine that used to sit near the front door; a flashing red light used to inform me if anyone had called. Old habits are hard to break.

Of course, all of these devices are a far cry from the ones present when I was a boy. The phone number I learned as a young boy in Chattanooga, Tennessee was MA4-2410. I still remember it (as you can tell). Many numbers since then have come and gone . . . but that one sticks in my memory. If you didn’t answer when someone called . . . well . . . they didn’t get to leave a message; all they heard was a repeated ring, ring, ring until they hung up their phone.

When I was a child we were fortunate to have a private line, and a black rotary phone with a thick cord that was connected to the wall; you could not disconnect it at will like the modern wall connection phone cords of today.

A great deal has changed.

Now we have no land line, only two cell phones. No one even dreamed in the 1950s of having a phone like the one I hold in my hand today. No dial tone when you prepare to make a call (that was the first thing you used to listen for before dialing a number). If you needed a phone number and could not get to a phone book there was directory assistance, but certainly not an internet connection where you could search online for numbers.

How we found websites back then I will never know! Hey . . . wait! There were no websites! Inconceivable, I know. But somehow, we muddled through.

Now I hold a tiny computer in my hand, or carry it in my pocket wherever I go. At a moment’s notice I can find road directions (and even have them read aloud to me by a really nice – albeit stern – sounding woman), find any phone number in the galaxy, play music with high fidelity (oh how that used to be a buzz word), pay bills, keep a calendar, read the news, and send a text message to anyone I want.

It is (to borrow a phrase used by my eldest daughter) the new normal.

In The Sacred Journey (1982) Frederick Buechner describes his father’s suicide one Saturday in the fall, and the BEFORE and AFTER reality that was born from that experience. He was just 10 years old. But it was at that point in his life that “time” really began for him. It is a story that he fittingly begins with the words “once below a time.”

A new normal.

A woman gives her life to raising her two children. They grow up, make her proud, then leave home to begin their own lives. And she is left to find her new place in the world, her new vocation (whether she wants it or not). She must adjust to the new normal.

A man retires from a long career in the business world. No longer does anyone come to him for wise business advice, or seek his counsel when making a big company decision. He was indispensable before, but . . . now . . . he is gardening in his yard. The biggest decision of the day is where to put the marigolds. And like it or not, he is in the new normal.

The fading pencil marks on the kitchen door jam, recording the incremental increase in the heights of two girls, remind the woman that she once was a successful mother. And the gold watch on the mantel pays homage to the business prowess and tenacity of the man. But no one seeks him out now.

The new normal.

I really like my new iPhone. It is truly amazing. Alvin Toffler warned me about it, though. I think we are beginning to see some of what he prophesied about years ago in Future Shock and The Third Wave. But the wave is so strong, I don’t know if we’ll be able to safely navigate out of its wake.

Life is made of countless transitions, changes and developments that have the power to undo us, or to embolden us.

We master a skill. Then, if we are not careful, it masters us.

We give our lives to a worthy cause. Then sometimes . . . that cause threatens to take possession of our lives.

There will always be a new normal awaiting us. Just around the bend.

A woman lives with a man for 40 years; he is sick for a few months then dies with cancer just after his 61st birthday. And she steps into the new normal.

A young couple goes into church work, wanting to be a help to those in need. Then their 9 year old is sexually abused at the church where they serve. They find themselves in the new normal.

A childless young couple, six years into marriage, begins the long and grueling process of adoption, then they are given a baby boy to raise. He becomes the highlight of their lives, and they cannot hardly imagine a time when he was not with them. The new normal.

Whether positive, or negative, the new normal demands its own brand of surrender from us. It brings with it both a blessing and a curse. And it is up to us to find the blessing and avoid the curse.

The iPhone 4s that we purchased last year have already been supplanted, of course. And I understand that the new up-and-coming iOS 8 operating system may not work in an iPhone 4. Well, I guess we will hold onto the “old” normal as long as we can.

So, how are you handling your own new normal? Is it your undoing? Or have you discovered the navigational secret that makes it possible for you to ride the waves rather than be engulfed by them?

But maybe you aren’t in an emotional position that allows you to ride the waves. That is so often the case, isn’t it? What then?

A former student of mine recently posted a video on Facebook. It showed expert surfers who were able to surf the pipeline of an ocean wave; impressive, to say the least. The video showed them encircled by the swirling torrents of water that make up the massive waves typically found in Hawaii. They were surfing inside the roll of the giant wave itself.

I think that sometimes navigating the new normals in our lives can be like that ocean pipeline; that is, if we search for it, there may be a way to stand in the very midst of the onslaught of the tidal wave and remain unharmed.

And eventually . . . if we are patient . . . calm, order, and peace return. The new normal.

Posted in Family History, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Sense and Sensuality

Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s first published novel, 1811, (beautifully portrayed in the 1995 movie starring Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Kate Winslet), is one of the many successful stories that have made her one of the most widely read writers in the English language.

Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her work on the screenplay; and critics deem it well deserved.

Of course, some book/movie titles just have that ring to them, don’t they? That sometimes alliterative and arresting name that just sticks with you, or compels you to investigate further.

Comedians often make use of familiar titles and expressions, adding a syllable or taking away a letter, thereby forming a whole new word or phrase that reminds the listener (or reader) of the familiar expression while at the same time providing a new twist for their minds to entertain. A comedian might tell the story of “The Pee Little Thrigs,” for instance. Or Archie Bunker might talk about “the sperm of the moment.”

And that is exactly what happened to me Friday night as I sat (and sometimes stood) at an open air, country music concert, surrounded by thousands of country music fans; Bud Light and other variations on a theme by Dionysus were in the hands of many. Dirty dancing was engaged in by countless individuals, and women were adorned in a way that would entice even the most pious (and puzzle authentic country/western people no end).

As country music star, Jason Aldean, proclaimed from the stage, “country music can make anything sexy: tractors, pickup trucks, and drinking beer.” A truism indeed.

My daughter and I were standing at the top of the concrete steps where droves of persons had to pass to enter the amphitheater. A young man went by us carrying a tall can of beer topped with a plastic cup, and as he did he said, “I love you guys! I don’t know you yet, but . . . I love you!”

And the night was still young. Not sure if he came to the show slightly pickled, or if he was just anticipating how he would feel once he got loosened up a bit.

Beer. Loud music. And thousands of people all mashed together in an enclosed space.

Sounds like a recipe for combustion, doesn’t it?

That may be why numbers of security personnel were traversing the grounds all night, sifting through the crowd, scanning the sea of country music enthusiasts, sniffing out pot smokers and other infractors.

Now let me be clear. I love country music. I love having a good time. As a musician I also am impressed with musical excellence and instrumental prowess. In addition, I am an ardent fan of great beauty. And I like the taste of beer and wine.

But something odd happens when large groups of people drink alcohol, listen to loud music, and dress a part. Articles on crowd control theory and crowd management abound. So, I will not labor to present the basics of that field of study. Let it suffice to say that is is a phenomenon well documented, fraught with predictable results. Often negative. Or to borrow (out of context) from a favorite writer of mine, they become “incompetent groups of competent individuals.”

What caught my attention at the concert is a subject I have been mulling over for some time.


Sensuality: “relating to, devoted to, or producing physical or sexual pleasure,” according to Merriam-Webster.

As human beings, we are hardwired with the ability to enjoy physical pleasure, sexual and otherwise. The desire for pleasure is a mighty force within each of us. Learning to keep our gratification gyroscope (if you will allow me to use that expression) upright is a part of our maturing process.

The absence of sensual parameters and boundaries is the very definition of licentious. All license – nothing disallowed or banned. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? In the fantasy world it most certainly is; but in the real world it loses its luster (sorry for the pun).

And it prompts me to ask the question: what sense is there in sensuality?

Although I thought I was being original with this apparent contrasting title, Sense and Sensuality, there is a book published in 2010 by Ravi Zacharias with this title (providing an imaginative dialogue between Jesus and Oscar Wilde), and a number of blogs and/or articles where authors have availed themselves of the same expression.

So . . . I will join the crowd (so to speak), and become one of the many, I suppose. For I feel compelled to point out that sense and sensuality seem to be at polar opposites in the human psyche. Are they compatible?

When Greeks spoke of sensuality in the ancient world they used the word aselgeia. In Plato’s Republic it is used to describe the “sheer impudence of lawlessness.” In the New Testament it is used to describe an attitude of open, shameless, undisciplined, and indecent action wherein the individual is indifferent to the opinion or rights of anyone else.

Sounds somewhat like the venue I was in on Friday night.

By the way, there were some really nice people at that concert. Courteous, patient, respectful, and kind; I’m sure they had a good time. And there was the guy near us who out-of-the-blue offered a hearty high-five to my wife and I; he was joyous, gregarious . . . and inebriated. And I’m sure there were many more who would have acted more decently had they not been rendered inhibitionless by drinking.

A picture of the amphitheater after most of the attendees had left is revealing: a field covered with empty beer cans, plastic cups, dropped food and paper plates (and probably some puke in there somewhere, too). There are no trash cans available, because management knows they would not be used. So, part of the ticket price includes payment for clean up (much the same as you see in the bleachers or stadium after a high school football game). It’s part of the reason public bathrooms are now equipped with automatic flush on the toilets, right?

How many folks woke up the next morning with regrets over the effects of following their need for sensuality?

Never fear! I will not wax moral on anyone. That is not my point at all!

I do not endorse the sanctimonious, the people too good to mix with the crowd, persons who cannot bear to be seen with the masses.

What I am talking about is regret. The regret that comes when I allow sensuality to make sense. When the rudder of my life is the next good feeling, the next fun meal, the next titillation. It fits well with our movie culture, our country music culture, the “no holds barred” and “full throttle” approach to living the good life. But it fails miserably when it comes to family, citizenship, and making the world a better a place for people.

It is almost as if we reserve this tangent, this sensual excursion, this sensory depot just off the main track of our lives. If we tried to actually LIVE there, we know how stupid we would look and act. So, we live elsewhere most of the time . . . but allow ourselves to take a well-deserved vacation to Crazyville from time to time, especially when lots of others around us are going there, too. And the alcohol helps us all get there, of course.

By the way, there is some sense in sensuality; that is, when the sensuality does not govern our lives but merely adorns it. But when sensuality reigns supreme – LOOK OUT!

Posted in Family History, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Finding God in the Dark

To many, Barbara Brown Taylor is a leading theologian, an accomplished speaker, and an excellent writer with over a dozen books to her name. The TIME MAGAZINE cover for April 28, 2014 features an article about her life, and about her interest in “darkness” as a means of finding God.

To me . . . she is a very approachable professor at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. She taught my eldest daughter in a World Religions class about a decade ago, and I can honestly say that making her acquaintance was a delight. It pleases me to see her featured in TIME, and so highly acclaimed in the aforementioned article where she is put on the same footing as my favorite religious writer, Frederick Buechner, and others of great renown.

I certainly agree with her assessment of “darkness” and its importance in finding God. But I do not wish to cover once again the ground she has most ably covered in her writings (her latest book is Learning How to Walk in the Dark).

All I can offer is my own experience with darkness.

And it is one which began at a very early age.

As far back as I can remember I have found personal engagement with darkness very satisfying. Possibly this is because I had a penchant for escaping the light where I could be seen and compelled to do things I did not want to do. Darkness offered a cover for me. In addition, it quelled distractions which would have captured my attention in the light.

In the darkness I felt safe. Secure. It was like a blanket of protection around me. In the darkness I could be myself. Or . . . I could pretend to be anyone I liked.

In the darkness I was . . . free.

There are few things more enthralling than laying on the hood of a car (or on the ground) and staring up at the night sky. If the night is clear your eyes focus entirely on the light from the stars. And the longer you look, the longer you allow your eyes to acclimate to the dark screen in front of them, dotted with tiny specks of light – the more stars you will see. It is fascinating. An area which was formerly only a black space soon reveals a host of shining lights.

As Thomas Carlyle said, “The eternal stars shine out as soon as it is dark enough” (a quote mailed to me from my mother many years ago).

Darkness is the precursor to light, the necessary backdrop upon which light makes itself known. In the ancient Hebrew scriptures that describe the state of things before creation, “darkness was over the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2).

Try this! Sit in the darkness during a thunderstorm. Make sure you are in a room with ample windows, or a glass door. Exhilarating. [My family scolds me for this, because experts say it is not wise to stand near a window during a lightning storm. So I would be remiss if I did not advise you to sit a safe distance away from windows, etc. There! Done!]

Even better is to be on a mountain and watch a storm roll into the valley below (we used to do this in the Catalina Mountains, north of Tucson, Arizona). The light display is unforgettable.

But it is only so because of the presence of darkness.

We live in a world of contrasts. Beauty and ugliness. Good and bad. Light and dark. As my black friend, Richard, used to say to me in Memphis, Tennessee years ago (we worked in a warehouse together, loading and unloading remanufactured Ford parts), “If the newspaper was all white there would be nothing to read. We need both white and black.”

Darkness is necessary, isn’t it?

But when darkness is a metaphor in our lives, a way to describe depression, difficult or unbearable experiences, evil or catastrophic tragedies – it takes on an added dimension. Often life’s pain is so deep it seems to take on a life of its own, or more accurately, it seems to take your life as its own.

Decades ago my friend Landon Saunders quoted the Indian poet Tagore, and his words have brought great encouragement to me ever since:

“Faith is the bird that senses the dawn, and sings while it is yet dark.”

Out of darkness comes light. Out of the depths comes deliverance. Out of the darkest cave comes illumination.

This theme is universal; it spans cultures and periods of time. Its ubiquitous nature is devoid of debate. It is something we all know.

But when we are in the darkness . . . we wonder if we will ever see the light of day.

Caving was never one of my favorite things to do (like it was for my brother, Ron). Caves disorient me; I lose my sense of direction and reference. And I don’t like that. Nevertheless I can say that after being in the dark for a long period of time, the path ahead of me illuminated solely by the eerie light cast by a carbide lamp, I immensely enjoyed the discovery of a small shaft of light which pointed the way out of the darkness.

One time we were in the belly of a cave, so deep in the darkness that I literally could not see the hand in front of my face. Our lamps were extinguished. We sat there . . . in silence for a time . . . then making some quiet conversation. But the weight of the still air was strangely heavy around me; I could actually feel the darkness. It was inescapable. I had no choice but to embrace it.

I have found the darkness in life to be that way, too, at times.

The popular poet Kahlil Gibran (in The Prophet) discussed this issue of darkness and pain with great eloquence, pointing out that “pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” He further said that if you were able to keenly observe your life with a sense of wonder, noting its daily miracles, “your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy.”

Truly, I want to continue to learn how to walk in the dark.

I no longer spend much time in the dark, not like when I was younger. That is probably not to my credit. I do rise before dawn on most days, and that is indispensable for me. But I would do well to be more intentional about my time in the dark, especially in the evenings.

Make no mistake, the metaphoric darkness will, indeed, find us on its own timetable. But our intentional time embracing the darkness can prepare us for those moments beyond our control. And it can serve to assure us that -

“You don’t have to understand anything very complicated. All you’re asked is to take a step or two forward through the darkness and start digging in” (Frederick Buechner, Beyond Words, pp. 73-74).

For when we take a step or two through the darkness . . . we are closer and closer to the light that does indeed eventually come.

And oh, how glorious is That Light!

Posted in Family History, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments