The site we were seeing lay yards behind me, but I wanted to be alone on my last day in Ireland. Away from the crowd on my bus as they wandered through Glencree.
I saw an old Irishman with a cane walking toward the bend in the road.
Naturally, I decided to follow him.
He kept walking past the bend--he knew where he was going. I stopped just before it though because frankly, I was too overwhelmed to go any further.
The beauty of the view below me, the meaning of my solo Ireland trip, Holy Spirit's presence and goodness, the gratitude for my life, and the knowledge that the beauty in the land around me was something akin to the beauty inside of me. I felt all of it and more when I looked out at the countryside.
It was too much to keep going, so I stopped. I climbed onto the top of the fence behind me, sat down, and cried. I cried for the hardships I've pressed through, for the bravery that has pushed me further up and into grace, for the beauty I've been fortunate to see and experience.
I didn't have much time to cry or to be overwhelmed though because I had to get back to the bus. I had to keep moving. There was more ahead for us. More wonder to see that day.
Once everyone was on the bus, we set out on the same road I had just walked.
We passed the bend.
I remember being so disappointed as the bus turned the curve. I was so mad because the view beyond that bend? God, was it marvellous.
Why couldn't I have just kept walking? Why didn't I believe for beauty on the other side?
I can't help but think about that day now as I am walking toward another bend in my life. My life, which has basically been one long transition since graduating high school.
The thing is, the past months, the past year--they've held some overwhelming things for me. So much beauty, so much growth, so many realisations of my worth and my gifts. I've been able to see a really stunning view.
There's a bend ahead though, and I just know that I have to keep going. Because there's even more beauty on the other side. I want so badly to sit on the fence here and cry because of all the wonderful, hard things I've seen and done the past year. I'm so proud. So excited and nervous and eager and terrified.
I am overwhelmed.
But I have to keep going forward. I have to, like the old Irishman, trust that what I'm hoping for, what I'm expecting, what I know to be more beautiful, will be waiting just past the bend for me.
It will shock me, it will move me, it will be more and less than everything and all that I expect from it.
Here's to the road ahead. May it rise up to meet me.