In June of 2004, just shy of turning 8, my youngest daughter GForce figured out how to ride a two-wheeler. One morning shortly after she had mastered this skill, we went out together to walk our dog at a nearby historic home that has a parking lot around it, along with a gravelly path through the surrounding woods. GForce pedaled around in the driveway for a bit, veered off into the grass, then up onto the gravelly path. I stood back marveling at how quickly she had gotten whatever is the bicycling equivalent of sea legs. After experimenting with the variety of different surfaces available to her, she rode back towards me and came to a screeching stop right in front of me. I chirped, “WOW! This is SO COOL!!” GForce looked up at me, all beamy and happy, and then got a very serious look on her face and said, “Mom, you may think this is the end, but it’s only the beginning.”
I’ve thought a lot about that moment over the past week, first when I heard the rumor of layoffs at my company, and then again this past Monday when I found out that I was among those being discarded. It didn’t take very long for me to feel like Monday was a kind of Emancipation Day. In fact, one night over the weekend, prior to Emancipation Day, I was awake for awhile during the wee hours and I realized that I was feeling anxious about NOT being laid off. What if I had to stay at the company while someone else got laid off?? The prospect of that was way too much to bear, thus the insomnia.
When I woke up this morning, I had the Emmylou Harris/Patty Griffin duet “Way Beyond The Blue” echoing in my head. What’s not to love about hearing those gals’ voices upon awakening?! Then these cascading layers of colored ideas flew through my head, about a book I could write, about a blog I could start (DONE!), about all the amazing people I’ve known at various jobs across the country, about how I could turn my resume into a show-stopper, about what if I never have another corporate job again because I’ll figure out how to do something different, amazing, and very much me.
listening to the plinky pluck of the harpsichord, I started thinking about vibrations, about how that’s all music, or any sound is, moving the air in a certain way. Stringed instruments have to be rubbed or struck or plucked or hammered to make noise. And what lovely noise this music was. And then I realized my heart was thundering in my chest. And I looked up at the rows of female saints sculpted out of marble on the altar,
and my heart pounded louder and louder and then came this sudden Aha! that made me weep: “I’m alive! I. Am. Alive. So THIS is what resurrection feels like. This is what resurrection IS: that feeling of being alive AGAIN.”
You may think this is the end, but it’s only the beginning.