Friday, August 17, 2007
Little Boys Fly
I walked out onto the beach a few days ago and noticed Jesse and Trevor bending together over a tide pool on the reef. Jesse is 20 and Trevor is almost 18 but my brain instantly changed the scene to years ago when they were about 7 and almost 5, peering over tide pools and wearing the caps that I had sewn long flaps into to protect their necks from the equatorial sun. How familiar it was to see them in the midst of a seaside adventure.
This time they were coaxing an eel out of his hole in the coral and considering who would be the first to try to grab him. (In the end, they flipped him out onto the reef and danced around yelling as he squirmed rather violently between their feet and back into the water.)
Jesse and Trevor left Arusha by shuttle bus yesterday afternoon at 2pm. They got to the Nairobi airport at about 7pm and caught their flight at 11:25pm. They connected in Zurich (with a five hour lay-over) to Washington DC and will connect from there to LA. They will arrive at about 8pm California time.
That's the clinical side of what has happened. Real life is a little different.
Yesterday morning in bed I asked Byron, "If we don't get up, can we keep this day from happening?" "Yep," he answered and closed his eyes.
But we were wrong.
The sun came up and the boys put their last minute things in their bags and made sure they had their passports. When the time came, they boarded the bus and began the journey that would eventually be about 42 hours door to door.
It's SO good to see these boys become men. It's so fun to watch amazing paths opening up ahead of them. It so badly sucks that those paths take them 10,000 miles away.
We are truly excited for them and truly sad for us. Byron and I stood with Colin and Heather by the door of their bus, eyes all full of tears, and waited till they were gone before we moved. Much later in the day I asked Byron how he was doing and he said he wanted to be sick. I knew just exactly what he meant.
Colin says he feels really sad but peaceful about their departure. We all concurred. It's a good thing, the right thing, just a hard thing.
So little boys grow out of their caps with home-made sun flaps and big boys grow out of the need for their mother to be watching from the beach.
And I grow too.
As the dawn was rising yesterday and I tried my best to hold the day back, I kept hearing an Angels and Airways refrain in my head. It says,
"I cannot live, I can't breathe unless you do this with me..."
I don't even know what the rest of the song is about but that refrain has become my prayer. God beckons me on to growth through the circumstances I find myself in. I walk forward only because he walks with me.
And today, as I'm still achey from their departure, I am thankful that he is utterly patient with my pace. I feel him resting here beside me, letting me know we'll walk on only as I'm ready.
(Photo of Jesse paragliding)