Two weeks ago my husband, Randy, was working on our chimney while I sat under the front porch writing. The wind swayed the trees bordering the field and spun the outdoor ceiling fans; hummingbirds buzzed each other like tropical insects as they fought over the territory of the glass feeder that was my first Mother’s Day gift. The juice from the pomegranate ice pop I had swiped from the freezer kept gluing my thumb and index fingers to the laptop keys.
Above me, pebbles of cement clattered down through the space between the chimney and roof. Randy called, “Come up here.”
“Huh?” I asked.
“You gotta see this.”
Thoroughly enjoying my Italian ice and knowing I only had thirty minutes to write before my daughter awoke from her nap, I really did not feel like scaling a chimney. But uninterrupted time with my husband is just as rare as an afternoon of ice pops, writing, and refreshing breezes. I set my laptop on the table and slurped down the rest of the ice. Shading my eyes, I peered up at Randy who was leaning against the roof, grinning down at me.
“How I get up there?” I asked.
“Use the scaffolding.”
I looked at the scaffolding my husband had spray-painted camo when he attempted to use it as a deer stand three hunting seasons ago, and then at the ladder and boards jutting at pell-mell angles. I climbed the ladder first, and then clung to the scaffolding while teetering my way across the board with my arms thrust out like a fledgling bird or a tight-rope walker. Randy laughed. At fourteen, he could sit on a narrow board suspended over the side of an eighty foot Harvestore silo while taking the jigsaw of the silo apart or putting it back together again. At fourteen, I was sunbathing or watching The Price Is Right.
“It’s safe, I promise,” he said.
Despite his reassurances, I took my time shimmying up the scaffolding, and then the wooden ladder that was slanted against the roof. If I fell off that thing, who would feed our daughter? Finally, I wiggled up the scorching green tin and Randy wrapped an arm around my back until I felt sturdy enough to sit on my own.
“Isn’t it gorgeous,” he said, casting his broad hand to take in the view.
Coiling my arm around the ladder, I stared up at the thick white clouds swimming over the mountains, casting dark shadows over the green as if the sky were the sea, the clouds gigantic fish, the mountains verdant coral where smaller creatures could hide. It was beautiful; it was breathtaking. My husband and I just sat in silence as the wind swept across our valley, tugging at the filmy scarf twined around my hair and fluttering it behind me like a kite, and in that moment, I knew I would always recall the wind, the scarf, the pomegranate juice sticking to my fingers, the mountains...him.
After I clambered down the ladder and then the scaffolding to return to my safe plane I had not wanted to leave, I realized that when we feel ourselves called out of our comfort zones, it does not mean that we will not find comfort again. It just means that we might have to overcome our fears until we finally climb to new heights and see the beauty that is set before us, waiting patiently to be viewed.
Is there something that you are afraid to figuratively climb? If so, how are you learning to trust?