The End Of The Beginning

“Life is lived forward and understood backward” – Soren Kierkegaard

THE END OF THE BEGINNING
I have reached the last page of a journal given to me over seven years ago. The book reads like a good novel, with frightening conflicts and joyful resolutions. How appropriate that I am about to close out a journal at the same time as I am about to close out an era in my life. This summer will be the last summer of living the “wild” single life (if you can call it wild.) I’m ready to move on to the next stage in my life, but it is an era that I will wring out every drop of before I am done. So, I look back on the beginning of this year of 2000 and take stock of what I have learned

* Never, ever plan a trip where driving is involved at night in January
* I have seen the wedding that I want.
* On March 18, 2000, on top of Amicalola Falls, my life changed forever.
* I have become a student all over again.

JANUARY:
Never, ever plan a trip in January when the weatherman predicts “rain in the morning, clearing in the evening, lows in the 50’s.” The reality is that you will make a nerve-jangling four-hour trip through sleet and freezing rain across water slicked roads. I made a trip to Birmingham which was a sort of anniversary of a time when the sun began to break through the clouds. That day was anything but sunny. Regardless, Adriene and I still managed to make it a weekend to remember as we toured the hills around a Vulcan statue which was surprisingly missing.

FEBRUARY:
During the month of Feburary, the winter weather cooperated a bit more. The snow even stayed on the ground long enough for me to join friends for a long day of skiing in the white covered Blue Ridge. Then the snow melted just in time to make a long trip to Chapel Hill to see the wedding that I want. During the end of Feburary, I wined, dined, danced, and celebrated a beautiful marriage with friends in a tastefully stylish, but oh-so-refined resturaunt in North Carolina. I can only pray that this would be foreshadow and to an extent it was for what would come in March.

MARCH:
In the misty rain, deep into the night with a backdrop of North Georgia mountains towering around us, Adriene and I became engaged. It was high time and we both were eager to move on to the next stage of our pecular friendship. Another memorable weekend to store in my treasure chest of memories. I don’t know if I’ll ever forget those mountains and the rain and the several weepy yesses that I got in response. I’m amazed at how circular life is, Amicalola Falls was where my parents celebrated their honeymoon. It’s only appropriate thats where we begin to make the steps towards planning for ours.

APRIL:
Sometime during 1999, my friend caught the fever to create music. During the beginning of 2000, I became infected as well. Now, I am an elementary school student all over again, trying not to raise my hand in class too often so as to annoy the teacher. After studying the science of computers, I am eager to study a science that is even more an art. I’m probably years and years behind my people my age when it comes to knowledge of music, but I’m staying up late at night as if I were a college student again studying for a final. I might not ever become a “musician”, but I’m embracing a new challenge, because I refuse to sit still. Maybe someday I’ll have a song or two of my own to show off.

…and so I am writing on the last page, but this is hardly the end. A whole new book is opening and when the year burns down at the approach of the Darkest Night of the Year, a whole new life will take over the life I have now. Until then, there is still half a year of adventures to explore and see. The hills around my apartment have become obstructed by a parking garage, so it looks like its time to move on. I think I’ve discovered the new area of town that I’m moving to, but I’ll know for sure soon. The world is changing and its nothing new, but as long as God’s grace and love remains unchanged, I anchor my hopes there and see what the waves will bring.