At the Gate of the Year

The Kansas City airport, early 2011

I am writing from the middle of the country.

It is charming out here, even in the dead of winter.  Nearly everyone you meet wishes you a "blessed day" and there are cows and rolled hay bales on the hills behind our hotel.

I am here looking for places to fry up the bacon, as it were.

And I'm sorry to admit, it's a little bit scary to imagine cooking bacon anywhere other than where you've done it for the last ten years.  I am not quite as brave as I had imagined.  (That is the trouble with an active can even deceive yourself.  Woe is me.)

When we arrived in Kansas City, we had to rent a car and drive out from the city for a while.  The lady at the rental car agency gave us a blue Toyota Corolla, the very kind of car we owned when we were first married and just starting our adventure together.  Back when nothing seemed scary except being apart.  Remember that?  When we got in the car we grinned at each other.  David said it was like starting all over again.  Trouble is, it's not just us any more.  There are four other people in the equation now.  Four people with hopes and dreams and futures of their own to worry about.

It can be overwhelming.

Last night I couldn't sleep for all the fear and worry.  David and I stayed up late.  Happily, this morning, everything looked a little more cheerful by the light of day.  I told David we can't have any more discussions late at night.  He just looked at me.  Because our late night discussions are never his idea of course.

All morning, as I passed the cows on the hills, and the bare oaks and maples, and frozen ponds in this little midwest town, Minnie Louise Harkins' poem was running, running, running through my mind. 

And it was some comfort to my terrorized heart.  Bless you, Minnie Louise.  It gave me back a bit of the courage that has ruthlessly abandoned me, and tenderly prodded me to do my best "to trod gladly into the night."  That's right, not just trod, but trod gladly.

How'm I doing?

I haven't cried once all day.  

I told you I was a wonder.

At the Gate of the Year

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.'

And he replied,
'Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!'

So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.

So heart be still!
What need our human life to know
If God hath comprehension?

In all the dizzy strife of things
Both high and low,
God hideth his intention.