Julie was a neighbor and good friend as I grew up. She lived several miles north of me (country living means neighbors aren’t just the people within throwing distance), close enough we could get to each other’s houses even when the weather wasn’t great.
After a fairly heavy snow when we were in upper elementary school or so, she and I started at her house and explored along the small brook that ran close to her house. It wasn’t completely frozen, so we tried to walk beside it. That meant sometimes having to walk on a higher ledge on either side.
When we got to a ledge about fifteen feet above the brook, we decided to sit down. The snow was beautiful. I remember looking around and noticing how fluffy and sparkly it looked. The sun caught and amplified glistening reflections.
We sat there for quite a while, chatting and relaxing, until the ground seemed to shake beneath us. We hardly had a chance to look at each other with bewilderment before the earth under us gave way. We found ourselves quickly sliding down the embankment toward the brook. We apparently weren’t on solid ground. A huge chunk of snow and ice carried us quickly to the bottom of the ravine and dumped us at the brook.
We were shocked and quickly jumped up to get our footing. Then we laughed and laughed and laughed all the way home.
I’ve thought of that experience several times since my ex announced he wanted out of our marriage, that he wanted a chance to live a different, happier, fuller life, that he deserved that. That feeling of the ground beneath me trembling, sending me careening downward. Only my best friend wasn’t beside me; he was the one pushing me. The way down was a lot farther and more devastating than my ride with Julie, but I landed. And despite being pushed off the ledge by my life partner, I looked around and knew I was not alone at all.
Sometimes when the bottom drops, we get to look around and invite a fresh perspective. We might not see the same glistening beauty we enjoyed, but there is still plenty of sparkle to appreciate and share.