Some journeys last a lifetime. Others just a moment. Sometimes a single moment can be epic, but if it passes by and we don't reach for it we'll never know.
I've been in the throws of a three thousand mile move recently, and some days it's hard to reach for anything except a box cutter and another cup of coffee. But there are great moments, even in the midst of chaos. There are great moments when you least expect it. Simple things. Little things.
Like a walk by the river, catching the very last light of the day...or listening to the rain at night.
Too many times we believe we must live only in the beautiful moments. We spend so much time trying to get through the terrible, past the mundane and into the beautiful that we miss the beauty in the brief moments of grace.
The reality is, there is just as much life in the terrible, just as much precious in the mundane, but our eyes aren't used to the darkness.They're only adjusted for the light. Whoever said the terrible cannot be beautiful has only ever loved themselves, for pain opens the heart in ways that cannot be accessed except for the breaking.
I re-watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy recently, and was struck all over again by the beauty of adversity and the passing of seasons. The honor in dying for something you hold dear, of sacrificing for the greater good.
After the battle is won and the ring of power is destroyed, Frodo attempts to go back to his life in the Shire but realizes he is different now. He knows he must leave, but instead of bitterness he looks back with a wisdom forged by the immensity of his experiences. He narrates:
"How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand...there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend...some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold. Bilbo once told me that his part in this tale would end...that each of us must come and go in the telling."
In the next scene Frodo says goodbye, and although he is saddened by the loss of his friends, he knows a new adventure waits for him on the other side of the sea. "Not all tears are an evil" Gandalf reminds them...
We moved several thousand miles to start a new chapter. We left friends and family and people we hold dear. In the telling of our stories, those we love come and go in the telling, separated by distance but never far from our hearts.
Tears have been shed. Hearts have been heavy. But the rest of the story is yet to be written...