On a golden autumn afternoon with leaves falling like laughter, free and easy, trees salute purple mountains rising steady and unchanging through the seasons. Transcendence and solidity flow like crisp air. We crest the hill.
My first-born drives, sunglasses perched with the innate jazz of youth and a poetic heart. He runs his fingers through his hair. He came into existence through us, but my husband and I are passengers in his car as he drives into the expanse beyond the hill. His easygoing optimism invokes the presence of another, flashbacks to an attachment deeper than my soul: as if my dad actually crosses through the boundaries of time and whispers, “I’m still here.” My son nods his head to the beat of the music, in time with the hooded young man next to him.
This one came into existence half a world away, a stranger born to a stranger of different color and culture. Brought into our embrace through intentional travail, his tender heart is now terrain as familiar as my very own. His brother catches his eye, and he lights the world with that smile.
Beside me in the back seat, steady as a train through blinding rain, my third oldest son knows where he’s going. Unflinching, steadily bearing onward, he is slyly making me laugh all the way.
And on my other side, my co-anchor, my cornerstone. We’ve loved each other for more than two decades, come what may. Like a seashell tumbling through ocean waves, its edges smoothed but its core identity withstanding every onslaught, we simply are and always will be.
I breathe beauty. Like golden leaves, we tumble through air on fire with sinking sun. Expansive spaces filter through as if opened by invisible keys.
You see, I don’t need that much – just this convergence of setting sun, the rush of wind cold enough to know that I’m alive, these people I am with; and suddenly I am unfettered by clunky flesh.
I step into the invitation, where happiness and joy converge, where relentless-white-knuckle-clinging to the promise that “all is well, and all will be well,” rushes into earthly reality. The promise is fulfilled in this moment, when I know that I know that Benevolence is at the heart of the universe.
And that very Benevolence offers His hand to gratitude.
I take that hand,and begin to dance.