The next day a friend and I were hiking a trail up a hill near the coast. It was beautiful, full of pink and white flowers and grasses and trees, rocks of many shapes and colors, bugs, birds and wonder. My friend is in better shape than I so he hiked ahead of me, eventually out of sight. The trail became very steep and I had to stop many times to catch my breath. At one point, when I could see the trail did not have any flat spots and continued out of sight up and up I thought to myself, “If I were alone I would turn around now. But my friend is waiting for me somewhere up there.” So I continued on, comforted that even though I could not see him, I was not alone and that I could hike this path, albeit at my own pace. I did meet up with my friend near the top of the hill and we continued on together. On the way down, I was reminded of the story from class the day before.
As I near the anniversary of Cyril’s death, his presence and the presence of other ancestors who are ahead of me on the path of life and death, just out of sight, is comforting and provides inspiration for me to continue on. Even when the path is most difficult, when my sadness and loneliness force me to stop and catch my breath, I catch my breath and breathe – breathing in the beauty around me, breathing in the love and support of friends, family and the Earth, breathing in the knowledge that just up ahead, others who have walked this path and are just out of sight are encouraging me to continue on.
May we all continue to be encouraged to continue on our own unique journey by what we know and see and what we don’t, and by the knowledge that we are not alone on our path.
Shalom, Salaam, Shanti, InLa'Ketch, Peace, Namaste'