We are mirrors whose brightness, if we are bright, is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us. ~ C.S Lewis
I wouldn't have been inclined to get out of bed just yet if it hadn't been for the 6:30 texts, one after another. It's been a while since someone looked for me that early, and I didn't recognize the alert tone of my boss (former) until after the second one when my husband grumbled at me to turn off my sound. As a joke, I had given her a low, ominous text tone. It's not as funny at 6:30am. It turns out she was only returning the favor, answering my text from late last night to wish her a happy birthday for today. And to be honest, I have been burdened for her and for Allen Academy (my former work place). Since I left, I still receive a steady flow of phone calls and texts from former colleagues about the progress and the changes taking place in the school. And I know there was a board meeting last night that would determine the extent of these changes. In theory, these things shouldn't concern me anymore. My brain is constantly buzzing with the newness of a different world. I am consumed by plans and possibilities daily and into the night. I fall asleep and wake with words that need to fall somewhere, and with the burden of the task of connecting with people in those words. The same intense energy that drives me now was the energy that drove me there, and it's difficult to let go of the hope. I know this is where I belong. But the heart has a difficult time moving on when it has invested so much in a place and in the people there.
The water bubbled around me as I reviewed the mental checklist of tasks ahead in my day and I thought about Allen as I alternately focused on the magic of the fading moon and the pale light of the sun. And as brilliant as I knew the sun was, just below the horizon, I was mesmerized by the moon. It was in its waning phase, and with each passing minute, it was losing its luster, fading into the light of the morning, but I could hardly look away, thinking about one of the simplest lessons I'd ever taught my students - that the moon borrows its light from the sun. It might fade into the shadows, but it's anchored by gravity into something true and right and steady. It will always come back around to shine light into darkness, and the light it has shone already can never be taken back. This is the way of the world. But it's the light in the people, and not in the places that make it true.
I waited until the moon had faded almost indiscernible into the blue and dipped into the bare branches of the trees before I looked back into the sun, now flaming over the house. It had been a clear sky from the beginning, and there were no clouds for the light to play into color. No dazzling effects - just all business and intense brilliance. And just before I made my way back into the house on the final notes of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, a single line of mallards flew noisily overhead, so low I thought I could touch them, into the rising sun.
This really happened. I would not cheapen a metaphor by fabricating or even embellishing;)
"I've seen your flag on the marble arch and love is not a victory march . . . It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah." ~ Leonard Cohen
No two journeys are the same. But whether we come by them with a burning, desirous leap of faith, or they are thrust upon us so suddenly that we have to learn to breathe again, they belong to us, and they become part of our story. How do you want your story to end? When you can't control everything, what will you do with the something you can? Do you trust the source of light that has been in you since before you were born . . . and trust that you were chosen for it, and it for you? Will you own it? And what kind of decisions will you make at the in between places when the light seems to fade and you can't see your way forward? Because all of those things matter profoundly for each page and for every chapter, at the beginning and the end of each day . . . for every single morning that we get to decide all over again. How do you want your story to end? And where will you begin?
"Do not go gentle into that good night . . . rage, rage against the dying of the light."
~ Dylan Thomas