When dawn came,
looking over the mountains we’d found to hide behind,
she was gracious enough to light the way before finding us out.
Kind enough to charm and churn our senses with her illuminating confessions,
giving cause once more to rise
and acknowledge the length of promise that sat as trapped as we were.
Only not really trapped at all,
but we’d abandoned the truest heights of ourselves.
The stature that would allow us to see over.
Kept at bay when we’d forgotten to choose to stand.
And she changed us with her gentle passing,
and moved the very scene.
Caressing the jagged spaces we’d one day meet.
Warming the ground we’d one day walk.
And walk we would when our standing had been tried and proven.
Walk we would when our standing was sure.
How long was the moment that changed us?
How tight was the grip it must have had around the hands of time
when it held back what was right and what was wrong between us
long enough to allow our humanness to stand alone?
And lay bare the purest sense of us,
set apart from the chaos,
granting safe passage to the place where honesty resides.
In between our feelings and failings
and the understandings therein.
In the trenches of our utmost best,
we found a common thread.
A thin line.
A crack in our armor.
The width of a moment.
As night turned overhead,
twisting the latch that would open wide a new day,
the sky inched itself one shade closer to morning.
The edges of it already aglow with the promise it was eager to keep,
while anxious light waited and watched for God’s cue.
Buzzing below the surface of dawn,
making plans to adorn every space
that had begun to believe the dark’s cruel persistence.
Gradually lifting the weight of that darkness with new light,
until all that was left of night
was the sheer and shadowy reminder at our feet.
It took several turns down the same road
to notice how the gravel felt.
Several turns to disconnect from the view
and settle into another sense.
To listen to a voice,
spoken in the same tongue as the road home.
How it crackled and rolled under our steps.
Skipped and bounced over tripping feet.
Our footprints, chiseling their proof into the ground
in a trail of small strides.
Made deep with the weight of unrealized dreaming
pressing down hard on our backs
forming cracks in our composure.
Cracks that made breezes whistle our separate tunes as it passed us.
Catching the beauty of our movement
in spite of our rifts.
Turning into harmony the agreement of two
that remain broken.
Waiting to hear God’s voice over the noise
meant waiting for the noise to become beautiful.
Beautiful like doubt wrapped in doing.
Like resistance cloaked in peace.
Like tears caught by a friend’s strong shoulders,
or realizing that your own shoulders will have to be enough.
Beautiful strength in the deafening lonely,
with only the soul in attendance.
Only the soul to applaud you
in an ovation of one.
Standing in recognition of your work,
at the edge of life’s long stage.
As wind and autumn blew,
spending what was left of their season,
we gathered the change that they left behind.
The lyrics they had written against the sky with their leaves,
falling – verse after verse.
A quiet ballad.
An ode to time’s passing.
Written in orange-gold leaf,
a testament to every moment, fleeting.
Here then gone.
And we watched them go.
We even heard them land.
murmuring underneath the day’s cool breath.
Telling their secrets.
Were we to be swept away,
when not only rain fell, but cloud too?
The grey of it settling low.
Hovering where we walked.
Thick, and refusing to be moved,
but for our footsteps
that would stir the mist into a cloudy swirl.
Playing tricks on our eyes,
that we were not the ones doing the moving, but being moved.
not knowing where our feet would land,
or if the ground would catch them, soft.
But the ground never failed us,
so in utter faith,
we walked on.