Monday, March 22, 2010

Tunnel vision

Our North Carolina Mountains are smattered with beautiful
tunnels, cut through stone, that a scenic drive might be
enjoyed along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Memories from my
childhood are filled with imagery and remembrance of what
it was like to my little girl eyes, anticipating those tunnels
when we traveled. I can still feel the excitement of rolling
down the window to hear the sound of my voice echo inside
the tunnel, as we made our way up the mountain from the
heat of the flat lands. I loved feeling the cool mountain air on
my face, nearing my grandparent's house. It all embossed
sights, sounds, and smells on my memory that are still there.
Inside those tunnels, my curious eyes strained to see form and
shadow made by passing car lights and the glow from the
intermittant low-level lighting on the tunnel walls. It was all
very ethereal to young eyes. Sometimes I could see a darkened
figure along the wall, walking on a specially made sidewalk,
behind a protective rail. There was much that was new and
different and unknown. As we drove, it seemed miles up ahead
to this little girl's thinking, watching and waiting to finally be able
to see the light through the opening beyond. And then, suddenly,
it was there. Smiling, I felt like a little mole, waiting for my eyes to
adjust to all that was there to see.

I think of those tunnels now with new perspective and new
understanding. I search them out, even on hikes near my
now-home, near the Parkway. I like what they represent to my
heart. I think of how much they are like our life journey, speaking
to that which is anticipated and delightful, and also to that which is
unknown and not seen. I have learned to love the journey. I know
it to be the graciousness of our heavenly Father to have prefaced
what I face as an adult with precious childhood memories, embraced
then, that all that is new and different, unknown and unseen might
be embraced now.  And now each time I move through a tunnel
I smile confidently, knowing that Beauty and Light await.
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