Wednesday, October 8, 2014

the hike.

Less than 24 hours before my scheduled flight back to Mexico City, a brief phone call confirmed its cancellation. 

My bags were already packed, but I unpacked. 

I didn't have any plans for the next two days, but I made some. 

At barely 4:30 am on my last day, we cruised out of the driveway into the dark, crisp morning ahead of us.  Our mini road trip would take us to one of the loveliest midwest places I know. And, well...a wrong turn in central Wisconsin left us with a bit more substantial road trip, but that time squeezed together in the little, stick-shift car were some of the week's sweetest moments. They were moments I almost didn't have which seemed to add to their value. 

Our hike at Devil's Lake was incredible (even though the weather was not). The higher we climbed, the more clearly we could see the flame of fall colors beginning to burst through the blankets of trees below us. So there we stood. Just looking. Travis' feet hung over the edge of a boulder that plummeted straight down to the lake below. I stayed a pace and a half behind. Just thinking.  

That moment is frozen in my mind: lungs burning, bare fingers throbbing from the cold, nose running, face wet with the icy mist spraying heart hurting
My not-so-baby brother was deploying. And although we've said our goodbyes before and we've lived with an international border between us, this was different. 

Something about that day and about the impending goodbye felt just like the September air I was breathing in. It was like I could feel the cool, fall air getting colder, letting me know a season was changing. Air slowly getting so cold that it eventually forces doors and windows shut tight for a long winter. 
It felt like a longer, more bitter goodbye. 

The back-and-forth and constant hellos exchanged for goodbyes have my heart jerking around on a bungie cord as I bounce from place to place. But when it all finally settles, I can see so clearly: 

My God is faithful. He is with us and goes before us...
wherever we are and however far apart. 

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