just the five of us
I had myself a little walk Sunday afternoon ... just a quick little 78 minute stroll down the Centennial Trail. Dave was tired from being up at 4:00 a.m. to go over his sermon notes; I took pity on him and insisted he take a nap. He argued only enough to save face. By the time I tied my shoes and put my hand on the front door, snoring drifted from the bedroom. He'll probably love that I shared that.
Dave wasn't with me, but I wasn't alone. I brought along four of my oldest friends. Randy Stonehill. Roby Duke. Billy Crockett. And Michael McDonald, thrown in for good measure.
How did I live before iPods hit the scene?
Randy sang to me about a girl named Rachel Delavoryas, whose violin music drifting from an upstairs window failed to mask the pain of her isolation. I heard, and I remembered wanting to walk those stairs and meet that lonely girl, the first time ... the tenth time ... I heard the story.
Billy pointed out that along the path, whenever my eyes caught the smile of a passing cyclist or walker, unseen lines connected our hearts. And I remembered the summer I sat in my garden with an old thrift-store boom box stretched to its limit, trailing a fat orange extension cord. While I yanked weeds and planted carrots, I rewound "Lines" again and again, because I couldn't believe someone put my thoughts so clearly to music.
Michael ... well, Michael set my pace. What did I remember as he bemoaned the fact that he "keeps forgettin' we're not in love anymore?" I suppose for the briefest of seconds, I remembered eighth grade, when the boy who loved me one week decided he loved the girl across the aisle the next. But I'm 45 now. The sting is gone.
And then Roby walked with me awhile. He called me "friend," just like he did all winter the year I first heard his voice. He sang about the place I long for most, and the fact that when I cross that last bridge on this long journey, I'll find no broken hearts there. And I remembered when my heart was Jesus-new but hurting, because I couldn't reconcile the great chasm between my Savior and His Bride. In Roby's words, I found strength to believe that truth was truth, and no matter who hurt me here, my healing would be found there.
I didn't want to turn for home. I didn't want to risk leaving my mood somewhere along the trail, lost in the stink weed, unseen by the health-seeking masses, forgotten, abandoned. I think I could have walked straight into darkness, except that right in the middle of a verse, my battery died. I actually looked down at the thing, looked back over my shoulder, and thought, Now how am I supposed to get home?
We're all charged up now. And tomorrow afternoon, if the weather holds, I'm thinking the boys and I will head back down the trail. I'm still hankering for yesterday.