And all Creation is Shouting for Joy.
I am now (temporarily) on night shift.
In all honesty, I was really excited to take part in the whole "walking at night" thing. I was one of only two people on the walk that hadn't been on night shift yet. It's such a different experience.
my team warns me that night shift isn't really all that great: it's hard, it's tiring, and by mid-week, I'll be cranky and exhausted. nevertheless, I'm excited to begin.
we drive two hours to our starting point.
Kirstin and Josh are starting out, so Zechariah, Stephanie, and I wait in the car. While waiting, Zechariah and I record some ridiculous dances to (maybe possibly) make a fun music video.
sunsets are gorgeous.
Have you ever watched the sun set while standing on a hill overlooking a valley, with mountains in the distance?
I got to do that on Sunday night, and it was magnificent. Even the swarms of mosquitoes couldn't keep my happiness level low.
josh and I set out.
We pray our rosary, and as the moon rises in front of us, we talk. funny stories from growing up and from high school.
the moon was so bright that we could see our shadows behind us.
we make jokes about alien attacks, and listen to birds that sound like hyenas. the moon is above us, shining and brilliant in the sky.
when I get back in the car, I sleep for a couple hours, then it's time to walk again.
Zechariah and I begin walking and pray another rosary.
It's early in the morning and the sun has started to rise. conversation comes surprisingly easy at 4:30 am. there's a hint of glow in the sky, and as time goes on, the sky lights up into a dozen different colors: reds, oranges, yellows. we watch deer scamper across a field and stop right by the car, about a mile up the road. cows wandered out to pasture and began their gentle mooing.
If there was a night that I could remember for the rest of my life, it would absolutely and definitely be monday night.
josh and I set out around 9. the moon was bright; not as bright as the night before, but more full. after praying our rosary, we talked about faith. every once in a while, a train would pass on the tracks next to us, its light piercing the darkness up ahead. the gentle chugging was a reassuring sound that I normally wouldn't have been aware of. Semi trucks passed and i could feel the whoosh of air that they pulled behind them. the air was cool but as we walked further, we were able to take our sweatshirts off and just wear the reflective vests over our PRO-LIFE shirts. As we heard a car or truck approach, we'd turn on our flashlights, the soft light showing where we were and lighting our way.
again, I slept.
sleep comes surprisingly easy when you're walking at night. we're awakened at 4 am to begin the last 5-mile shift of the night.
we were both tired, so after the rosary, we fell into silence. with 4.2 miles to go, we could already see the van up ahead, hazard lights flashing bright in the dark.
its amazing how your senses are heightened at that hour.
the moonlight reflected off a white barn, a mailbox, and three simple crosses at the side of the road.
in unison, our footsteps were loud on the pavement. every so often, one or the other of us would kick a stone, and it would bounce to the side.
I could hear the wind blow gently through the grass.
horses whinnied and beat their hooves in a nearby stable.
a small stream trickled into a ditch nearby.
just before the sun began to rise, the birds started singing. First, just a single song, then the whole area was filled with melodies and harmonies of all different birds. some loud, some soft; they combined to form a symphony for us as we walked.
I could see a wooden pole rising against the lightening sky, a nest perched on top. as a large bird, probably an eagle, rose from the nest, Josh broke the silence.
Not the awkward i'm-trying-to-think-of-something-to-say-and-can't silence, but beautiful silence. A Full Silence that can only come from listening to God and all of His creation.
the sky started to be illuminated. directly to my right was the full moon, still shining with all its glory, and to my left was a hazy sky.
deep gray-ish purple mountains rose against a lighter purple sky, set off by medium blue clouds.
words cannot begin to describe the depth of beauty that filled that space.
we were surrounded by mountains on all sides, by whispy clouds up above and the gently rising sun as the cherry on top.
It was such a different sunrise than the morning before, but just as, if not more, phenomenal. God is a magnificent painter.
What can I say; I'm in love.
I'm in love with the beauty that I have the ability to see on this journey.
I'm in love with the Creator of that beauty; the One who made it all, with my God, the Maker of the Heavens and the Earth.