This year, I spent vigil perched on an outcroping of rock a hundred feet above a frozen alpine lake in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska. A fitting location, given all that this last year has entailed. I was accused of running away, when I came north. After months of backpacking and kayaking, living in tents and shacks, reading myriads of text, scribbling notes on scraps of paper between rainstorms, wrestling pitifully with something I used to call prayer, my response emerged from the haze. Some things should well be run from, as quickly as one can gather the courage. And in running from, one must needs be running to something else. And this to is what I have been trying to discover more clearly in the days and months since.
So I found myself crouched on a rock above a frozen lake, mountains and trees and rivers empty of human-kind stretching out in every direction, a snowstorm gathering in the peaks above. I thought about redemption a little, and about hope. And in the echoes of "he is risen" on the wind, like ghosts of a former life, I began to realize that I must somehow find a way to believe in one, so that I can have a chance of finding the other; that if I do not, my little soul will not have the will to keep going.
I think this tiny thread is all I can handle right now - the tapestry I used to rely on has been thoroughly unraveled. It was enough for me to glimpse at hope, at the possibility that it may be a solid thing to hold to, or stand on. Maybe these are the baby steps I should have taken at the beginning of things. Baby steps that will show me the to I must find to keep walking.