Just Up Ahead


Just up ahead is the light at the end of the tunnel.  It seems so close, but then it feels so far.  It’s one of those optical illusions, like when you are at the beach and you decide to walk to a distant pier, only to realize, after walking what seems like forever, it is still miles away.  This tunnel we are in is longer than we thought.

It is dark in here. We cannot see as we fumble forward.  The unknown is our companion, and we don’t like it much.  We feel more than anything, but the feelings are unfamiliar. Emotions are always heightened in dark places.  We are discombobulated. There is a sense that everything is not as it was, but we don’t even know what that means yet. Trying to navigate this tunnel is making us crazy.

There is grief in here. Shadows hang over us of events canceled and time lost.  The moods stalk us here in the dark. We think we hear the footfalls behind us.  We turn ever so often because it feels as if we are being followed, but there is only silence. The feeling of loss opens up like a sinkhole and we fall into it.

In here, fear has us in a chokehold.  In so many ways, it grabs at our feet.  We stumble as we try to run away, or maybe into, fear. It’s hard to tell which way we are going, and it seems to be surrounding us, coming from all sides. We box the air and swing our fists, yet, we cannot land a blow.  It is not tangible.  There is no substance to shadows. It keeps us off balance, but we walk on anyway.  Step.  Step. Step.

Then, just up ahead, we see a pinprick of light.  Is it real or imagined?  Can it be the end of the tunnel?  Does it seem less dark, gray instead of black?  Maybe, if we run.  Maybe, if we focus our energy on the light ahead we will make it out sooner.

The light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter.  We can taste it, even though we don’t really know what is out there anymore than we know what is in the tunnel.  We only know it is light, and we are drawn to it, like a moth to a flame.  In the light, there is life.  In the light, there is freedom.  In the light, there is hope.  In the light, shadows flee.  Enormous feelings, come back in line. The unknown becomes known. The footsteps behind us fade away.

Our season in the tunnel has been traumatic, but not fruitless. We have learned much that we will need in the new world we will find outside. We will carry new priorities forward.  We have done some soul searching.  We have cleaned out some things along the way.  Like the main character in a book, we have been transformed by our adversity. We will see these things as we walk into the light, that is just up ahead.

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