You can watch the sun dip down behind the mountains, the tiny bands of light sitting over the horizon fade to nothing.
And you can watch the last thin white petal of a flower shake and sway in the wind on the edge of the stem, until it is finally torn away, and drifts into the wind.
I can feel the definite end. I can feel the barrier being erected between conclusion and new beginning. Sometimes we build these barriers out of stone strong enough that no matter how much we try, we can never break our way back. Sometimes we build these barriers high enough so that when we try to turn around and look at our past, all we see is solid stone, and so we can never look back.
At my house back home, the basement is made out of thick slabs of concrete. They are wide enough to insulate from the heat, so the room always feels warm, even in the chilly winters of New England. Yet every single time the skies turned dark and poured down heavy sheets of rain, the water would rush down the outside stairway that went towards the earth and seep through those giant slabs of concrete, forming pools of liquid on the floor of the basement. My Dad and I would scurry down into this wet mess, tossing towels against the porous walls and vacuuming up the water to dump it outside again. We eventually would clear the water out after the rain stopped pouring down, yet no matter how hard we tried, we were also left with large water stains that covered the concrete floors that sat under those slabs of wall.
The truth is that everything leaks, and no matter how much concrete you pour or stones you pile on top of one another, you can never really stop the flow between beginning and end. We are always walking upon the stains created by steams from the other side of the wall. Yet maybe sometimes there aren’t walls. Maybe those barriers that we try to build, don’t always exist at all.
While a home over some break, I walked down a street near my house where there is a farm with horses. I stood next to the edge of the fence, and one of them with a dark brown coat lumbered over to the edge of the fence. Its feet crushed tiny twigs and pummeled small pebbles as it wandered over, sticking its neck and massive face over the edge of the fence. It had gigantic black eyes, ones that seemed deep with dark color. We stared at each other, barely moving, locked into this gaze. I realized I had been down this street many times before on Halloween nights, to see friends I haven’t talked to in forever, and when running to stay in shape for cross country races long passed. I realized that there were moments and memories long forgotten flooding into me. I couldn’t stop them. I couldn’t keep them out. There was sadness and happiness and confusion, all together. In the darkness, and in the obscurity of that creature, I had brought myself into a world that I thought was long gone. And I understood that none of it was gone, that it churned in the background of my mind. These moments that happened right by this farm stood in the little tensions that rest under my soul. There was no wall between then and now. They had soaked my soul, creating a foundation, upon which no barrier could stand.
They say you can watch the sun dip behind the mountains and the tiny bands of light sitting over the horizon fade to nothing. Yet the sun is always there, always sending rays of light down to us, always brightening our world.
For every day which creeps toward a new beginning, there is an eternity that stands behind it. I cannot forget that it is this eternity that fills my soul.