Graduation Day: Taking the (Rocking) Chair

RC4And then there was the time Gran realized she was poised at what might prove to be the most significant crossroads in her existence.

She’d stepped away for a few days to think about things, when her body and heart and mind had all begun screaming at her so loudly that there was no way she could keep from hearing them.

And so she’d found herself on the front porch of a little Ozark cabin, perched just above the springhouse on a south-facing hill. Deep winter it was, but the sun kept peeking through the clouds, reminding her of all the what-ifs that still-could-be.

That day Gran was sitting in a comfortable old rocking chair. She’d decided against the weathered rattan, and the aging swing just didn’t feel right. She’d tried the steps she’d favored in her youth, but they still bore winter’s chill. And so that day, with an acceptance of life as it was and in acknowledgement of time passing, she took her seat in the rocking chair.


She knew she had a big decision in front of her. One choice would be simpler — well, at least easier — than the other. That was the choice that went the same way round, in that big ol’ deep rut she’d worn for herself over the preceding seasons.

The other way? Well, it sure wouldn’t be easy. And it definitely went uphill. She knew she’d have to pace herself, take it one step at a time, pausing to rest when need be, listening to her body, listening to her heart. This road came with some tough decisions, ones she knew not everyone around her would support. Ones for which she’d have to be a light unto herself. And to be real honest, she didn’t even know what the whole picture was just yet.

She knew a few of the next steps. Those were clear. Those would also be some of the hardest — facing some deep-down fears, with no guarantees in place. Letting go of some things and places and people to which she’d become rather attached. You know, that ol’ ‘better the devil you know’ argument.

But she also knew she didn’t need to know all the answers, see the whole picture, juggle all the balls.

All she needed was that next right step, that next clear piece. And that she could do — just like driving on a dark foggy night — as long as she didn’t overdrive her headlights and her windshield wipers and defroster held out, she could keep on going, passing one exit ramp after another, one cozy hotel bed after another, one mile after another, another, another. And somehow she knew she was a lot closer than she’d ever imagined. Somehow. And hey — if the wipers and defroster gave out, as long as she kept that gas tank full, she could roll down the window, stick her head out, and keep on going, following that dotted line one stripe at a time.

Not to mention the fact that the spirit of potential adventure had once again begun stirring inside her every cell. She could feel it, and oh, what a feeling. This just might be fun. It might be exciting. It might be AWESOME. It might be everything she’d ever dreamed it could be. It just might be the Greatest Adventure Ever.

Just one right step. Then another. And another. And there she’d be, on the doorstep of home. But this time, she’d be on the inside lookin’ out — and waving me in for an afternoon tea.


(C) 2018 Mary Batson,
All rights reserved, especially the one to pick my chair.


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