Heaviness weighed inside my chest like my heart was tethered to stone.
The drive through the foothills was beautiful that spring day. Green was beginning to show on the trees and ground. What was that, a stirring in the heavy heart? Some quickening?
To lay aside the burdens just for a weekend, and run away with my beloved.
The grounds of the old place were lush. I could feel the tension siphon off a bit. There was a wedding in progress when we arrived. A horse-drawn carriage conveyed the bride. Oh the hopes and expectations in her eyes, just as they had been in mine.
We checked into our room and went to dinner in the sweet little restaurant. China and goblets on white tablecloths. Just the right touch of luxury. We laughed for the first time in many months, from the sheer relief of leaving our troubles momentarily behind.
Later we walked the pathway, hand in hand. Stopped to inhale the fragrance of the daffodils and listen to the quiet.
We made our way about the shops and galleries, then very slowly we made our way down to the bridge. I struggled in painful slow-going the whole way down, but was determined to do it on my own power. He patiently stayed beside me all the way ever solicitous to aid me.
Finally standing beneath the bridge and gazing upward, reminds me of how very small we are. And how big God is, and how much we need Him.
Lower we went, traversing the trail, crossing over the tributary to the underground river. And all the way down to the falls. I sit and feel the spray kiss my skin. And bask in the feeling, of not feeling so bad for a moment, as the sun seeps into my bones.
The walk back is brutal, but I am determined. And relish it none the less.
After a nap and supper, we return to the bridge, and sit in black darkness until our eyes adjust and we can see the stars. And in the chilly night we listen to the Creation Story in Genesis, and remember that God is still with us in it all.
We take the tram back up, and sleep deeply, snuggled close. And in the morning we descend into the caves, and see still more of God’s amazing handiwork.
Chatting, laughing, relaxed, refreshed, and tired in a much better way than when we came, we set off for the scenic ride home. Back to our troubles, back to the struggles, but somehow ready to face it all once more.
That’s how life often is. One long push. Interspersed with golden moments to treasure and help you keep going.