Peace is unmistakable.
Sometimes it sneaks up on me.
I stood alone in the parking lot of the small hotel I slept in on the banks of the Merced River just outside Yosemite National Park, reflecting on the journey I’d made over four days. Pacing around under what could be seen of the stars, I smoked an Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva–a celebratory cigar to mark crossing over into my new home state.
A lot is on my mind–always.
The hunk of tissue between my ears can be a real curse, often poring over questions for hours (or days) in search of answers. I’m rarely able to shut it off unless a solution arrives.
I sat for a minute on the curb and pulled some smoke into my mouth, then blew it at the streetlight hanging off to my left. The whispy cloud floated away like an octopus’ ghost into the ocean of night sky, eerily pulsing its tentacles against the still air.
Then, I started confessing.
I rolled through thirty years’ worth of sins of omission, talking about why I’d been afraid to say anything and too proud to ask for help. I admitted to what I don’t understand, even though I want to. I shared everything I could think of with God, particularly a long-quiet ache to be better for Him.
I don’t know how I can. I’m sure I’ll need help–with the amount growing every day–and it’s all I’m asking for right now. I’m clumsy and I’ll fall down more times than I care to count, I just want to squeeze the very best I have to offer into this life.
Finally, one thing came to mind:
“I am uncertain but unafraid.”
The silence in my head was jarring, like a stadium full of people hushed by the sight of an injured player.
I have no idea what’s coming next and, for the first time in my life, I’m accepting that. The feeling is unfamiliar, almost as though I’ve put on a new pair of shoes.
Let’s hope I can stay calm.