Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Crossing the Great Divide

By tomorrow, I'll be in the Mississippi River system, rather than feeding into the Chesapeake Bay. As a child, I used to watch eagerly for the sign on trips telling me exactly when I'd crossed a state line, but now, the real divides speak to me more: I've crossed between the Mississippi system and the Chesapeake system many times in my life, but still the high point that divides the waters (even waters that will eventually reunite in the Atlantic) speaks to me.

This trip, too, feels like its own watershed, as though it is the permanent division between the time of my dad's most recent deployment and the rest of the surrounding time. But like the division of the waters, it is a sort of illusion, temporary. This weekend will be the first time I've seen my dad in person since the day I lost my breakfast with worry, but had to keep going anyway, only stopping in a giftshop for a t-shirt to replace the blouse I'd been wearing. I went home that afternoon, exhausted and sad, wishing that someone who had power to stop this madness could hear me.

I've written here about many of the days in between that day and this, the worries, the hopes, the relief of hearing good news of all stripes. I poured worry and hope and prayer into the blanket that so many friends and family helped make. I've taken comfort from that blanket, the act of creating it, the act of showing it to my mom, the act of sending it out. Writing about the experiences of this deployment also has been a comfort of a different sort, as have been the lovely messages of support that so many of y'all have left. Thank you.

There were days when I thought that the rising river of tears would surely sweep me away, down to the ocean, beyond hope of return, and of course, as I said, this is still not a true ending. While I wish to shut away the time, it will have echoes in days to come. But the worst for me is over. Now, it's time to work to help others lost on that flood.

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Blogger Kate said...

To quote Canine Diamond...

It's gone away in yesterday, now I find myself on the mountainside, where the rivers change direction across the Great Divide. (Kate Wolf)

When I think of the Great Divide I'm thinking of the one perhaps an hour's drive west of me -- it's amazing, everything tilts the other way -- so I do know what you mean. Everything now is different.

6/28/2007 12:52 PM  
Blogger Little Black Car said...

I lived in Colorado for eight years as a kid and was very familiar with the Great Divide as it appears in the Rockies. It wasn't until 2001 when I was working at a summer camp near Hendersonville, North Carolina, that I discovered that there was an Eastern Great Divide, too. I don't know why that never occurred to me. But there was a sign by the side of the road a mile or two west of camp that just said "Eastern Great Divide". I've got a picture of it somewhere.

7/07/2007 8:59 PM  

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