A Holy Journey

"Oh, do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be a stronger man. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks."

—Phillips Brooks

This ground I walk on—it is good. It is sacred. My “flesh gets numb, but the soul doesn’t.” * 

Home was a place to which I knew I would return—didn’t I?—and yet words betray the feeling of boarding my final flight home to Tulsa. Thirty hours of travel makes you think about much. Mostly about gratefulness, and grace. Contentment, too. I am happy, here at home. Have I said that before, I wonder? I was unsure how I would adjust to being home. There has been reverse culture shock to overcome, but mostly being home is safe and warm. For now I am back in the fold.

More clearly I am realizing the inevitable changes of being away. For myself, I know I am more appreciative. No, not simply appreciative—I am extraordinarily grateful, the kind that causes you to gather everything you hold dear and grasp it close close close. 

The end of this journey, I will never forget. 

What a gift, reunion. Beyond exhaustion, in need of a shower and a clean set of clothes, and yet there was unspeakable joy bubbling within. Smiling at the businessmen too busy to look up from their phones, smiling at the little girls clutching their mothers’ hand, smiling at the man selling newspapers. At first I walked fast to my family standing at the other end of the airport, then slowed a moment to take it in. A holy journey.

Remember this, I told myself. This is sacred ground you walk on. 

*Book of Sketches, Jack Kerouac