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And there it was before me, or there it wasn’t, I should say.

My path was buried under the earth, its final stretch beneath water.

“Let it have its way,” I said. “What was needed then is no longer needed now. The water has risen and come back to us.” But I still longed to see it, the connection it stood for—me to my loved ones now gone.

It was the summer after my brother died when the bountiful globe in the night poked its head up out of the horizon, the color red. My first moonrise. A glow of majestic, magenta light, turning orange before golden, began to lift and I stared intently at it until its big white face looked back at me. Settling onto its throne in the sky, it shown a light right to me, a pathway of white.

The next day, rocks, I laid, one after another, from the top of the sand to the edge of the shore, lining up to where the moon’s light had traveled the night before, pointing to the place where the water met the sky–my path to the moonrise, to heaven. 

So this summer, after my father died, when I saw it submerged, I headed to the garage for a rake and a shovel and the old wheel barrow and I started to dig.

The first rock popped up from the ground without too much effort. One stone of forgiveness, a rock of grief, released. Then another, and another—they weren’t so deep that they couldn’t be lifted up  and out and placed anew on higher ground.

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One by one, I began to set them where they could lay beneath the evening’s moonlight and the sun at daybreak. No longer suffocated by the weight, the load I carried, I took a breath. A deep breath as I saw the rocks line up above ground.

They led to the sea’s debris—a layered, murky meadow of its grass over swamp—easy enough to walk on so I stepped up and there too, began to dig. The black, wet earth exposed, I dug deeper, removing one rake-full at a time before the old rocks buried began to appear.

The earth sunk as I stepped nearing the ripples of the water’s edge, so I laid a carpet of sea grass first, then placed logs my husband had cut from the shore’s overgrowth, between the two rows of stone. A new route emerged, wood on wood, stone on stone, over murkiness until it met up with the water.

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Beneath its shimmer lay the former path, aligned on the sandy floor, looking barely different than random rocks scattered. I dug and lifted, then pushed and rolled them one at a time. They met up with the logs where I stacked and placed them like a puzzle put together. An elegant entryway laid—sand to wood to rock—to beauty, to Life.

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So like my emotions—stones hardened within me, a murky meadow of swamp, and black earth needing light— now exposed and laid out, lifted up above darkness, I walked to the water, to my LORD, through the night. The Rock makes my path solid and I look to His Face. He’s the Moonrise and Sunrise. He’s the Father—all Grace.

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