A fallen leaf, once was green and growing. Then it showed a flame of orange and a wave of red. Stately in form and strong in its season. Now dry and perched on the ground. It is still, and only a memory from summer.
A smile across his face, the cold Autumn breeze turning his nose and cheeks red, and with the magnificent wonder carried by all young children, the boy runs down the lane. Life itself is new to him and he delights in it all.
A single stride, only one footfall in so many the boy has already taken, and the proud leaf is crushed under the treads of his sneaker. A gust carries the chaff away, and the leaf is remembered no more.
I thought this was a new path. I had to find a way of my own in the wilderness. Like Bilbo, the hero from my childhood, the steps I took led me deeper out of my comfort zone, farther and farther out of what I had expected my life to look like. Even as I took those steps, I suppose that I thought I would find some place to call home.
I don’t remember the last time that I played hide and seek in the backyard with my friends, I remember playing that game so many times, but I can’t remember the last time. That last time came, the last game I was ever to play with them, and I didn’t know it for what it was.
Each step I take makes my history longer and leaves me with yet more memories of things that once were, but will not be again for me.
My grandparents have all moved on. I have memories of Grandma Jenny, Grandma Elaine, and Grandpa Carl – but my daughter will never know them. Her world is one that doesn’t have them.
Yet these roads are well worn. Generations upon generations have walked this way and have asked the same questions. I understand more of why Jacob said to the Pharaoh “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.”
The fact is, I never will find my home in this world. One day I’ll write my very last blog post, one day my fingers will hit these keys, now worn smooth by my typing, for the last time. The last line of code, the last words, the last thoughts. I don’t know when that day will arrive, but I know that this time I have been given is an incredible gift.
Later, some time after Jacob had spoke to Pharaoh with those tormented and heavy words, he reached the end of his journey, and summoning his strength one last time, he knew it was his final chance, he sat up and spoke a great blessing on his sons.