Repost from last year
Right before Christmas it was cold and foggy. My wife had gone to bed and my little one and me watched the movie, “A River Runs Through It.” After I put her to bed I used the inspiration of the last line of that movie to pen this. It’s a little different, but I hope you like it just the same.—–
I remember as a child looking out at distant lights. I recall the misty haze bathing those lights making them appear as representatives of their owners on dark foggy nights.
I can now with ample time to have considered them, understand that it was just the moisture and fog in the air smothering the struggling light. The moist air and fog made the lights less bright, less brilliant. My eyes drank up the hazy moonlit night, gazing out at what excited and scared me simultaneously, right down to my bones.
It was the unknown, flashing from current reality to future hope. I knew bad things were happening in the dew filled darkness. I also knew one day I’d have to face that darkness one way or the other, as a scared little boy grown up, or as a man without any trace of fear.
At the time, I couldn’t consider the fact that both could coexist. I couldn’t fathom who I was going to be regardless of time. I would be forever just me as I traveled through the days and sometimes damp nights of my life.
I assumed I would become a man without fear. The silly child with childish thoughts would be gone, not even a memory was expected to remain.
My assumption was that I would be a courageous man without a hint of fear. Fear, I presumed, was to be left to the weak. The weak and the young.
I carefully watched as fearless men marched toward harms way with a smile on their face. I knew with the passage of enough magical time I too would become that fearless man of courage.
The actions of these men spoke to my heart like a song written for my soul. I would miraculously one day become the man walking this earth, facing the worst of human creation without a fear residing in my heart.
I considered my older cousins when they were called off to war. They never cried or appeared to be scared, they laughed, joked, and carried their honor in the center of their chest and on the shoulders of their uniforms.
I learned additional true life experiences at the time due to where we grew up. I looked from behind my dad’s big chair as my mom nursed the wounds of my big brothers. I counted the number of links in the chain, the marks left embedded into the skin of my brother’s face and bodies.
I was old enough to read the brands of shoes worn by the person or persons who stomped and or kicked them in the head as well. These were also the days of metal taps applied to the soles of the then stylish shoes.
I knew my brothers had graduated past the point from when God turns scared lads into fearless machines. I couldn’t wait for my turn, for the day to scoff at the dreaded shadows and walk as the power of the sun.
I rode in the back of the pickup truck, gripping the pipe in my hand. I hadn’t passed the “magic” line from boy to man as of yet, but we didn’t have time for the graduation ceremony. How could I have known this dark damp night would be that ceremony?
Andy was in trouble and everybody would be needed for his rescue. My brother coached me on how to respond when confronted with my new weapon to make up for the amount of people in the “gang.”
I didn’t know I was learning what it takes sometimes in the process of living through this life, in spite of fear. There is no metamorphosis, there is only wisdom gained through real life experiences.
God calls us to “gird our loins,” to “answer Him like a man.” He designed us to walk directly toward our fears whatever they might be, big or small. Sometimes our hurdles are bigger than others.
I did eventually break beyond the barrier that separates not boy from man, but a boy searching for understanding, into a man beginning to figure it out. It’s not a physical barrier, it is a mental barrier.
As a man with the understanding from God, “Whom shall I fear”? No physical death can kill us, only a wrong mindset can accomplish that.
Today there was a dense fog, a serious moisture in the air tonight looks like the days of my bygone youth. I look out on the lights of the city washed in the cool damp air.
I’ve grown to cherish these kinds of nights… The weather and human nature out there are the same, only my perspective has changed.
I am that same person I was as a child, the memories of time have brought me to this place. In that old fear, I find myself, and I am comforted.
Halos around lights in the cool damp night air puzzle me.
They calm me.
They beckon me.
I am haunted by them…..