Monday, December 15, 2008

advent journal: don't travel alone

After I got off work last night I drove to Asheville to meet Ginger and her parents who had driven from Birmingham. We met in the mountains because our Christmas present to Rachel, Ginger’s mother, was a couple of days with her daughter to see the Biltmore Mansion at Christmas and to be able to relax and know that Reuben, her husband who has Alzheimer’s, would be taken care of. He and I drove back to Durham today and are hanging out – along with all three of the Schnauzers – while the women wander in the mountains.

As we drove back today, my brother Miller was having surgery to repair a herniated disc and to remove a tumor from his spinal cord. I got word about nine o’clock that the surgery was a success, the doctor is confident the tumor is benign, and Miller is resting comfortably. I thought a lot about both Miller and Reuben as I was driving, one with a tumor that scared us all to death but that could be removed and the other who is slowly disappearing and none of us can stop it.

It was after ten when I walked home from the restaurant to get ready for my late night road trip. I decided to make a quick CD mix of traveling companions. One of the songs I chose I hadn’t heard in awhile, but pulled me somehow. I must have pushed the repeat button six or seven times because the Indigo Girls seemed to be singing my song, “The Wood Song”:

The thin horizon of a plan is almost clear
My friends and I have had a tough time
Bruising our brains hard up against change
All the old dogs and the magician
Now I see were in the boat in two by twos
Only the heart that we have for a tool we could use
And the very close quarters are hard to get used to
Love weighs the hull down with its weight

But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And well make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go

No way construction of this tricky plan
Was built by other than a greater hand
With a love that passes all out understanding
Watching closely over this journey
Yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide
Seems more than all the courage I can muster up inside
Although we get to have some answers when we reach the other side
The prize is always worth the rocky ride

But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And well make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far yeah
But the question drowns in its futility
And even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just holding on for the ride

The wood is tired and the wood is old
Well make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go
It’s getting late here and I can’t get Reuben to go to bed because he doesn’t remember Rachel and Ginger are spending the night away and I think he’s waiting for them to come home. Lola, Gracie, and Ella, our little canine carriers of compassion, are snoozing all around him. I’ve tried to get him to go to bed, but I don’t know much else to do but let him stay in the recliner. He feels lost and neither of us have a map; best I can do is to make sure he knows he’s not traveling alone.

And to my best to remember the same thing.



Peace,
Milton

3 comments:

John said...

I am glad you travel well with so many..."all who wander aren't lost..."

peace,
JB

Towanda said...

The Wood Song...one of my favorites.

Real Live Preacher said...

I've never met Miller, but I said a prayer for him today.