img_3224

Two weeks ago, I joined Hannah’s class for their weekly outdoor science lesson by the Santa Fe River. The students had wondered about large puddles along the road so we walked up the river to explore the banks for an explanation. In Indian file behind Will, the teacher, we made our way through the dense willow thicket. After we discovered a new beaver dam, Will suggested that we cross the stream to return to the road. The girls all wore rubber boots and were thrilled by the adventure, but I only had hiking boots. I turned around – and within a few moments I found myself lost and trapped in the vegetation clutter.

“I’ll never manage…” The thicket tightened and slapped my face with every step. I couldn’t move forward, much less turn around. The tangle of dead trunks I had painstakingly spanned collapsed under my weight. I tried my way to the right, then to the left, in vain. Panic mounted, and I felt helpless and lonely. Who would find me in this jungle if I got hurt or bitten by a snake?

Behind me, I then heard Will’s encouraging voice: “Keep walking toward the sun!”. Wasn’t this exactly what I had been doing since Matthias’ death? Grief is a hostile and terrifying chaos, but I’ll get by. I then move forward, straight toward the light. Today I’m wearing Matthias’ favorite hooded sweater. It will be my silver armor,  as are my fondest memories with him.

"At the end, everything will be good. And when it is not good, it is not yet the end."

“At the end, everything will be good. And when it is not good, it is not yet the end.” (“The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold“)

 

This post is also available in: German French