The loon cries out and I am transported to another time, another day when life seemed so much more alive. I am no longer camping by the lake in Alberta with friends but am rather vacationing with my parents in Vermont back when life held so many bright promises, back when I was young enough to think that I was invincible, that I was capable of having life by the tail, back when life hadn’t betrayed me, hadn’t ripped my heart to shreds and spit it back out again. I smile sadly as the memories hit me of the days spent with Dad on the lake in Vermont – fishing and talking and soaking in the quietness of solitude in God’s creation, sometimes placing bets on where the loon would pop up again to tease us with his game of hide-and-seek. I think too, of the quiet nights sitting on the Big Rock watching darkness fall and listening to the loon sing its lullaby, of mornings with the mist rising off the lake and the loon laughing in the face of a new day. I think of how totally in love with the loon my dad was and how we laughed till our sides ached when he tried his best to copy the loon and call back to it.
The loon cries out again and my heart aches with the lonely, haunting echo in that call. I too know the loneliness echoing out of the depths of that loon’s cry. I too am haunted by the memories of sadder days, haunted by the ghosts of the past, haunted by the empty promises of memories that could have been, should have been. I still ache at the loneliness, the emptiness still echoing in my childhood home – Dad with his life-loving, overwhelming presence is gone. The storyteller’s voice is now silent, the happy whistling no longer heralds his presence, the wisdom of life experienced no longer ready with an answer to my questions, my insecurities; his voice of unwavering faith in me no longer calling me out, stretching me, challenging me to give it more than my all. I see too the loneliness in my mom’s face and I cry for her as night falls. The loon’s cry becomes my own haunting, gut-wrenching sobs in a life that isn’t always daylight but that sometimes descends into a valley of darkness.
The loon cries out again and echoes the majesty of its Creator and my mind is drawn to the glory of all things heavenly. My soul longs to meet its Redeemer in person, and my heart yearns to once again be in the presence of my dad.
The peaceful lake that is home to the loon mirrors the moon and I can almost feel God’s breath whispering in my ear. His peace is not shattered by the haunting cries of life’s griefs, His presence is not smothered by the blackness of night that my soul is in. He is here. I may not be able to see Him but I can hear Him all the same. Just as it is with the loon, I cannot see the loon and yet I hear it calling out to its partner, to its family. And so God reminds me that He hasn’t ever left – He knows the ache in my heart, He grieves with me when I grieve the loss of memories still to be made with my Dad, He hears my cries splitting the night, He stays with me even in the loneliness.
Photo credit: Google Images
Link up with Jennifer Dukes Lee