Saturday, May 10, 2008


Partly because of finishing grad school (yay), partly because of the passing of Michael White, and partly because it's been a year since my dad died, I've been thinking a lot about endings lately. Today as I drove my son's friend home, I noticed that the three sister cows I always enjoy seeing along that route weren't out in the pasture this year. I discovered that the barn where the pigs used to be is vacant and falling down. My favorite landscaping company has gone out of business. So many happy images, memories, relationships, now lost with the turn of the earth.

As I drove through the countryside, I noticed the idyllic scene of a country road with wildflowers, a small footbridge, and planted fields with just the tiniest shoots of new corn appearing, captured perfectly in my rear view mirror. It, too, was passing. Lost with the turn of the earth, the scene disappeared from my view as I turned my gaze to the road ahead.

I resist the temptation to live a life based on gazing longingly in my rear view mirror, but at the same time I do think there's a sadness that needs to be honored and acknowledged. In all these beauties, in all these gifts, lies their inherent end, somehow. My faith says it's not the end, that's not all there is, and there is a way to accept the gift without mourning the loss. But I haven't figured that part out yet. Right now the awareness of the passing seems to season the having--I was acutely aware of appreciating that footbridge before it passed from my site. But it also creates in me a mournful wish to go back and appreciate all the gifts I took for granted in the past, not knowing then what I know now--how quickly and irrevocably the earth turns.