Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
Death. For so long, growing up, I experienced it and didn’t know it. I thought that it only meant the end of one’s life. Oh, if that were only true. There is death when a relationship ends. There is death when a story ends. And when it’s a good story, it hurts. I fall in love with the main characters and want their story to go on forever. Yet it ends, and there is pain. Many of us experienced it at summer camps during childhood. There was the intense high of being with friends, away from home, and having fun. The campfire songs, the waterslides, and the pranks on other cabins all had to come to an end. I remember getting off the bus full of close friends and then finding myself alone in my room, trying to recover all that was lost. It was a taste of death.
I am sitting in Denver, preparing to end a trip once full of so much promise. A blank page of days laid before us a month ago. Indeed much of the promising journey came to fruition on those pages. Yet my heart still grieves the trip’s death. It was a time of beauty, connection, romance, and adventure. My wife and I traveled through awe-inspiring valleys filled with wildlife. We watched grizzly bears, moose, and grazing bison from such a close distance that binoculars were not needed. We hiked through glacier-made gorges, and encountered beauty that cannot be reproduced with a camera. We fly-fished the “holy waters” on the Snake River. And we spent quality time with people whose hearts have fed and changed our lives. Now it is gone.
The sun fades now, sprinkling bits of pink paint across the Rocky Mountain horizon. It signifies the death of the day. The mountain range whispers of what once was, only memories now. New hopes lay ahead, some that have been birthed from our trip. Yet still I grieve. To skip that step in the process would be to devalue what was important and special. I long for the time when the sunset will linger forever, and the day and all that’s in it will not end.