My Lower Lights

on 11 March 2011

While we were down south last week, I popped down to Brunswick to spend some time with my 2 best girls and their absolutely darling children.

Let me tell you.  They are some amazing women.  And I? I am just hoping they don't notice that I'm not in their league...

When I finally got back on the road,  I put on the Lower Lights and turned the volume down, the Boy loves it and if he's tired, it's guaranteed to send him to sleep.  Sure enough, the Boy nodded off just as we pulled on to the freeway, and I sank into thought the way some women sink into bathtubs.

Our year in Brunswick was just hard.  There's no other way to describe it.  It was just hard.  I did try to make the best of it, and I did learn a lot.  But the best of it doesn't change that it was hard.  I would enumerate but it's private and personal and those wounds aren't fully healed just yet.

I thought about these 2 amazing women.  I thought about their compassion, their humor, their creativity, and courage.  And I thought about the many times they nurtured me in the course of that Very Hard Year.  I thought of their acts of service, some small and some great and some they probably didn't even realize at the time.  I thought about their tenacity in the face of my own determination to be a hermit.

And as I thought, this song wove its spell of truth around the inside of the car...

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

When we moved to Brunswick, I was so angry.  But as I drove north, back to Chris, back to our little life together, I realized the magnitude of the mercies I had experienced without even knowing it.  I knew when I lived there that these women were special, but it took me some time and space to fully realize that these women had saved me.

I thought about how angry I had been.  I thought about the petty ways I had taken that anger out on Chris.  I thought about how hard it was to keep my head above the water of it all.  And I thought about These Women.

How does one thank someone for saving their life?  For saving them from themselves?  How does one repay such a debt of gratitude? 

The Boy slept on.  The song shifted.  My thoughts faded in and out like the focus on a telescope.  I thought of other hard places I had lived through.  Other women I have known.  Other mercies I didn't recognize at the time.  I wondered when, when I would learn to see in the moment.  When I would grow strong enough to see the mercies clearly as they happen, rather than needing so much time and space to know them for what they are.

The Boy woke up just as we pulled in to the store parking lot.  I lifted him out of his seat and he snuggled in to my neck.  I thought about the blessings of distance, the perspective it provides.  And I smelled the Boy's head and smooched is soft and smushy cheeks and thought, "There are some nice things about being too close to see clearly."

I have some time.  Time to find perspective and to learn, and for right now, time to laugh with my friends and time to hold the Boy close.


Brett said...

I want to say "ditto" but I'm not sure that's sufficient...

We had a lesson in RS on Sunday about friendships and I've been thinking about how your friendship has been so very precious to me and I am so thankful you were here and are now a part of my life. I'm sorry it was so hard for you here and I regret that I didn't do more b/c I honestly felt so stressed that year that I felt like you were doing more for me than I ever did for you. But maybe that's the sign of a good friendship? Anyway, I love you and love spending time with you, whether in person, over the phone, or even over emails and blogs.

Cel and JP said...

And this will sound redundant, and I hope you know that the following is in no way a result of that beautiful post that you wrote mostly about Brett and a little about me, BUT. girl. You saved ME! How many times when I was stressed up to my neck did you bring me a yummy meal - absolutely unsolicited? How many times did you let me unwind on your couch and gab to my heart's content? How many times did you give such thoughtful and timely advice to the troubles I brought to you? Your very presence here (even though short) was an answer to prayer. So thank you for suffering through with me. I'm so blessed to know you. And thank you for making the trip to spend the day with me. I needed it more than you'll know. It's been a blessing from my very mindful and loving Heavenly Father to surround me with sisters when I have felt so far from home. You are most definitely counted among those. So thank you. Big hugs and a kiss! I love you dearly.