on travel and time


They look forward to road trips, like I used to. We tell them about the bayou at the end of the drive, the grandpa with the deep child voice, and the cousins who’ll humor, and they count down the days.

“How many more days till Lousiana, Mama, and then how many more days till Alabama?”

and this morning after seeing the forecast, the thought of ruining their expectations, what has fueled their imaginations for weeks now, makes me want to tell a story other than truth. 

“A snow storm is coming, and we may not be able to go to Louisiana at all.” It hits him in the gut, starts the lip quiver, and he cries. I thought he would be sad to not see the bayou, the moss waving like blankets on a line. I thought he would be sad to not see his cousins, dear to his soul, often in dreams.

But it was Grandpa he wanted. He never stifles a cry, but this time, he tried hard but couldn’t stop, and I wanted to scoop his lanky five year old body and cradle him like every broken heart should be cradled. He leaned in, said he would miss Grandpa, and it dawned on me, how much he loves, how Grandpa faces the rise and set of the sun on the water. He watches the wood ducks from a hospital bed. 

Isaac has known that Grandpa seems close to Heaven, and before he was so matter-of-fact about it, but now, I see my child age, begin to have a concept of time, the bitter of it.

I realize what a funnel for worry and for the what-ifs that TIME is. I’m doing it now, too: what if we don’t get to go, and something happens? What if I run out of time?

And I will. My little Isaac will. It’s certain. So today we cradle what’s in front of us, and we talk about God, how outside of time He is, how he can scroll through beginning and end like a rolodex. Are we already with God (with our family in God) and don’t yet realize it, how close we are?

The storm still comes. Plans re-arrange. Hearts break, even in their Mama’s hands. But there is sweetness in such longing, in the brokenness of deep love, of being up against the thin veil, but not yet having it lifted. 

The imagination was made for these things, for the Alpha & Omega of God’s Forever Eye, for the paradise version of dinosaur-swarmed bayou, and for the trip we take between here and there, how all the disappointments in the world will turn a forgetful vapor, like steam rising from a real, good cup.

{for Chatting at the Sky’s Tuesdays Unwrapped}

amberhaines
About me

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18 Comments

ExtraordinaryMommy
Reply January 26, 2010

Could your writing be any more beautiful? I am wrapped up on your story and crying right along with your sweet little guy. YOu have a way of sharing that envelops your readers. Don't ever stop.

So sorry your plans have to change......xoxo

Amy at Never-True Tales
Reply January 26, 2010

This is gorgeous. And honest. And that's a potent combination. Thank you. Time...I ponder it often (the choices we make that waste it, the way we wish it away and then wish it back).

Emily@remodelingthislife
Reply January 26, 2010

Gorgeous.

Amy
Reply January 26, 2010

Perspective. That's what it is all about. Well spoken, as usual, Amber! Heaven will be all we imagine and more...can't wait!

Kimberly
Reply January 26, 2010

Turning my imagination there now, thinking on the glorious forever. It makes present burdens seem lighter. Thanks Amber, as always.

Sarah
Reply January 26, 2010

So lovely Amber!

Tammy@If Meadows speak...
Reply January 26, 2010

Oh, how I long to lift that thin veil, one day! And wanting to breathe with Him those moments until then. To pour, to share, to love my family, while their still mine to love. Because, ultimately they're His and I'm blessed in His knitting us together, to journey life with Him and eachother. May I appreciate them in all His fullness. Thanks Amber, for a beautiful reminder of eternity and the love that carries us until we get there!

Melissa Multitasking Mama
Reply January 26, 2010

Wow! Your words are so potent...I remind myself often that our God is not bound by time..thank you for giving me the imagery of a Rolex. Hope you get to travel soon.

Jo@Mylestones
Reply January 26, 2010

I loved this part: "So today we cradle what’s in front of us, and we talk about God, how outside of time He is, how he can scroll through beginning and end like a rolodex."
Achingly beautiful post.

Meg
Reply January 26, 2010

Time passes so quickly in this life, doesn't it. I'm so glad you're finding lessons in the everyday, and that your children see the importance in family. Time with family is so precious.

Anni Crane
Reply January 26, 2010

"Up against a thin veil"... what a great visual for the kingdom is near... love reading your heart!

Boy Crazy @claritychaos
Reply January 26, 2010

Time the funnel for worry and what-if's...I hadn't thought of it that way before but I recognized it the moment I read it here.

I hope you get that chance to see Granpda. To love and say goodbye, for now. Hugs to you and those boys of yours.

-elizabeth

Kelly Langner Sauer
Reply January 27, 2010

quietly beautiful. hug that little guy anyway...

Melissa
Reply January 27, 2010

Oh....
So beautiful.

jenni
Reply January 27, 2010

The weather has ruined my travel plans, too (again). We do not live that far apart, you and I...

May we both find joy in the cuddling and consoling even as snow and disappointment settles.

    Amber
    Reply January 27, 2010

    Dear jenni,
    Ahhh. Here's hoping all our trees don't lose their ams!

    I think we're going to get out of here before it hits. Seth made a way, and I'm so glad, but that means we're high tailing out of here in a hurry. Hurry + kids, as you know, is not a good combo.

Jane Anne
Reply January 27, 2010

Thank you. Your words encouraged me to cradle what's in front of me. I needed that reminder today because I have so much tugging at me.

Cassandra Frear
Reply January 28, 2010

If only we could keep our children's hearts from breaking. I 'd rather break my own.

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