Sunday, August 15, 2021

On Rivers and Crossings

 "I've got to cross that River Jordan

       Lord, I've got to cross that for myself

Say nobody here can cross it for me

I've got to cross it by myself."  

  Sunday evening arrived with the stillness of a held breath.  The rough-hewn path beckoned me down the hill and through the meadow , where even the whine of the occasional mosquito was startlingly loud in the soupy air.  

  There's something about Sunday evening which stands up to remind me that there's a week ahead.  My generation shrinks from this, calling it "The Sunday Scaries".  Whatever.  This feeling was illustrated by nature, as the path led directly to the Potomac shore, terminating in a river to cross.

  Thoughts crowded around my ears like the gnats above the fragrant grasses.  I'll be moving across that river (eventually), and perhaps this will be one of the few remaining summer Sundays to spend on the gravely banks.  A good friend of mine has just crossed another sort of river.  He was like one of the old oaks that stretch their arms out over these meadows.  He had seen much lighting in his life, and laughed with an oaky mirth.  His eyes would gleam out of his weathered face, waiting for me to get his joke.  He lived at the retirement home.  I'm not sad that he gets to rest.  He's earned it. I sure will miss him, though.  A forest ought to have oak trees in it.  

  I plopped down on a washed-up railroad tie, the perfect seat for a wandering spirit.  An enormous yacht plied the bathwater-still river.  Observing from my humble chair, my first instinct was to write it off as a major headache that I wouldn't really want if I were rich.  How Cain of me to scoff at this nautical Abel enjoying a lovely Sunday on the water.  

  The damselflies flitted through the still air, and finally it was time to go.  A walking stick presented itself to me from a pile of driftwood.  STEP-STEP-CLOMP through the packed shells and sand, winding back to the path through the meadow.  Somehow, the stick was more than a bleached twig - it seemed to have the spirit of adventure in it.  It fit perfectly.  

  The gray evening sky let some light through, illuminating that stern Sunday feeling:  Some are gone, some are to be helped tomorrow, some challenges will rear up like sharks from the water.  Perhaps I can poke 'em in the eye with the walking stick...

  Friends will be missed.  Storms will come, and so will the rays of hope.  A man stands alone, and the path winds forward into the unknown.   There are rivers to cross.  

What a blessing.





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