Yesterday’s Adventures

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Recalling the adventurous hike my daughter and I did this past summer to High Rock Lookout just outside of Mt Rainier National Park, memories that no one can take away.

 

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This Moment

The quiet all around was loud inside my head. I felt a sense of expectancy in the air.
The breeze off the lake contained a chill but was bearable after the heat of the day. The small waves pushed by the breeze lapped against the gravel-laden shoreline. The boardwalk was empty this early evening. The boards running vertically beneath our feet showed the signs of the many footsteps of those who had walked along this path and were well worn.
The diffused evening light cast an ethereal glow settled over the landscape as the sun touched the horizon. The ground to both sides of the wooden boardwalk was stark white bleached white from the powerful desert sun. The winds that blew over that had stripped the earth bare leaving it barren and void of life except for a few sparse trees that struggled for survival in the dry parched dirt.
We walked silently, me with my hands pushed deep into my pockets and her pushing her bike forward hands firmly on the grips and face a mask devoid of emotion. The sleeves of my white shirt rolled up to my elbows and I could feel the flapping of the shirttails in the wind as we walked. Her white summer dress hung loosely on her young body a stark contrast to her brown olive skin. The lack of color in our clothes matched the landscape as if we were a part of it.
Looking inland away from the lake, I could see the far distance parking lot where the last stragglers of the day were returning to their vehicles. Headed where I had no idea, I only knew that they had somewhere to go. The loneliness settled over me like a shroud as my steps faltered and the sun sank its lower half now hidden below the horizon.
Catching my stumble out of the corner of her eye, she knew better than to ask how I was. Instead, she simply stated,
“I am tired.”
“I know sweetie.”
I replied as I quickly regained my balance and told myself she had not seen my misstep, nor knew the reason why. However, deep down I knew that she knew. She always seemed to know. Her understanding empathy, the ability that came so naturally to her and guided her actions was far beyond her young years. As we continued to walk, she said.
“I just want to sleep, all the time.”
“It’s okay. I get it. If that’s what you need then that’s okay.”
The silence then settled around us again as we moved forward. We strode onward as if drawn by some invisible force that neither of us could deny. I knew she was tired and worn out, even without her earlier comment still echoing in my head. My heart ached knowing I was powerless to stop the pain. I still found it hard to admit, even to myself, the conclusion I knew was inevitable and unavoidable.
Life is hard and for her to learn this at such a young age seemed so unfair. My anger over the injustice I perceived burned however; the sadness and longing overshadowed it like the darkness. I looked across the lake at the exact moment the last of the huge golden orb of the sun sank beyond the horizon into the undiscovered. Melodies of grace erupted in my head in songs of redemption and a belief in a light that will one day overcome the darkness. As quickly as the feelings rose, they disappeared as the despair again wrapped its arms around me choking off my breath.
I felt so helpless and alone. My life slipping from my grasp and everything I held dear. We continued to walk in silence, comfortable together in our solitude. Over the past few days, I had watched, as she grew weaker and I hated the fact that my little girl’s strength was quickly fading and I knew the end was near.
The words came from where I do not know and spilled out of my mouth in a cry of anguish.
“I miss her.”
“I do too daddy.”
“God, I miss your momma.”
We stopped walking and the bike lay on its side where she had let if fall. Picking her up I held her close feeling her wet check against mine our tears mingled together as they ran down our faces. Her arms tightly squeezed my neck in defiance of tomorrow and yesterday, for this moment was all we had.

©Mark W. Schutter 2018

Often this moment is all we really have, don’t miss it. ~M

#JustBelieve #HopeLives #LoveChangesPeople

This Moment

Searching… it’s all shit!

Warning: Honesty Post!

*All my posts are honest, but this one is a clearer look behind my curtain and who I am. If you are not ready, or willing to hear, my truth (and just possibly the truth others cannot voice, although I would never presume to speak for anyone else) please stop reading now. I do not wish to offend anyone in this time of overwhelming political correctness and safe places, well time to get over it.

I sit here on a quiet Sunday morning; only a week removed from our two week adventure to Yellowstone National Park and it all seems like shit! I told you honesty and that’s the word that fits – shit!

I am blessed, I know that.

A family that loves me, friends that care and so much more. I’ve been granted opportunities and worked my ass off at times sacrificing to accomplish what I have. Looking in one might say I have been and am pretty successful.

So why, as I sit here on the other side of my life’s mountain with less time before me than behind me do I feel this way, and not just this day but on most days?

Stuck! Marginalized! Lost! Uninspired! Disconnected! Lonely! Fatigued! Discontented! Overwhelmed! Anxious! Uncertain! Afraid!

I have dreams. We all do. They taunt me and haunt me. So, what good is a life that leaves nothing behind? To let go of the expectations of others. The responsibilities of who they think and want me to be.

It is all so exhausting.

I feel I have lost myself. Oh, there are moments, real and true, that speak of a greater reality, and they are just far too few. I often wonder who I am, or was meant to be but also there is a melody woven through my life that sings if only I would stop and acknowledge that truth.

My dreams of passion and purpose dance at the edges of my days before quickly fading into the duty and obligations that chain me. To make a difference in the lives of others. Yes, shining a light into the darkness.

My self-imposed obligations and responsibilities weigh me down. Drowning out that still small voice inside that would inspire and lead me higher. I am grounded with useless wings.

My search, for what I often am not sure, seems so fruitless and empty. I do not hear from God, a voice crying out in the wilderness. The silence of the unending heavens as I stare at the night sky.

I spent two weeks traveling and camping, visiting some of the most awe inspiring animals and natural wonders ever created and yet…

Is it the simple things?

Those fleeting moments that leave a lingering feeling as they are too quickly gone. And then we crash back to reality wondering, hoping to recapture those moments of magic.

That is where the bullshit often lies!

I stare into the darkness of my heart, knowing that I cannot change the world. But maybe, just maybe I can help one person who can then help another. Ripples you know?

Is that what life is about, each person uniquely created to fill a certain destiny that only they can fill. Why does it never seen to be enough? My doubts and fears, my insecurities of letting others down and not being good enough. Not being perfect.

Can good enough be good enough?

I feel my rambling coming to a close and I realize there are more questions here than answers. Oh well…. It is time to get my ass up, put on my jeans and dusty cowboy boots, carry a flame and bang that drum for myself and others. Cause God is not done with me and I will trust in my time of uncertainty and silence.

One small, seemingly insignificant pebble can start a landslide or send out ripples, even as it silently falls through the dark depths of anxiety.

So, these are words I would most likely never say out loud, so thank you for reading and carpe diem my friends!

Dreams...

“A Dream” Photograph of a Montana ranch tucked away in a little valley hidden high up in the mountains that we stumbled on while driving dusty back roads. Mark W. Schutter ©2017