Crossing time

This time next week, I hope to have reached the mountaintop.

Between here and there is a steep and rocky ridge. Last time I crossed Crib Goch, it was on my hands and knees. My ambition, some quarter of a century later, is to stride across (at least some of) it like a woman, erect and unafraid; but if I crawl again, clinging to the earth and rock the whole way as for my very life, I will not be ashamed.

I realized rather late in the day why this trip has become a source of such anxiety, a needle of nervousness when I prick my plans upon it. The last time I was in that land was for a funeral. My father made the journey to join us not, I think, so much for the sake of the widow as because, in the dying days, an opportunity to share the same air should not be wasted.

The death of my father-in-law has changed the landscape to which we will return, and the journey has become, in its details and diversions, its stops and starts, layovers, inspections, security insecurities – it has become a metaphor for the passage of time, unseen and uncertain, and steeped in our mutual mortality.

My ambition is to stride across it like a woman, erect and unafraid. But if I fall to my knees, clinging to the earth and rock as for my life, I will not be ashamed.

Be to me a rock of refuge (Psalm 71:3)

 

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing (Upper Room Books, 2020). She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
This entry was posted in other words, prayer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s