The markers of our lives

The markers of our lives

Lainey and I had the occasion a few evenings ago to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge about dusk. It was beautiful…one of those life markers that are a joy to check off the list. The company was fun. The weather was great. The sunset was awesome, setting behind the buildings clustered together at the tip of Manhattan and Lady Liberty in the harbor. What a stunning night to experience.

But there was a curiosity on our walk across the East River. After more than halfway across, we began to notice that there were locks…combination and key-locks all locked on to the light supports, the railings and other places along the walkway part of the bridge.

In an age of smartphones we were quickly able to find this article in the Daily News. Evidently this is a big deal. Couples wanting to publicly show their love for one another and to mark the date, leave a small lock…a kind of marker locked to the bridge and symbolically throw the key in the river. Many of these locks had names and dates written in permanent ink on the back.

It’s somehow human to want to drive a stake or build a monument or somehow signify that at this time, in this place something important happened.

In the Old Testament, when the people encountered God in some miraculous way and they wanted to remember it and more importantly wanted to remember to tell their children and grand-children they would build an altar. Sometimes this altar was grand and substantial. Sometimes it was merely a stack of stones by the side of the trail. But whenever they would pass these markers they’d tell their kids what the marker signified. And in so doing…they built a legacy. They told the stories that would make up their lives.

Who knows how many couples, even decades from now, will walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with their kids in tow to find the lock; the marker. They’ll rush to show their kids where the family story began.

It’s the evening of Day One of our journey. We’re in West Harrison, Indiana where Chuck and Brenda Hail of Higher Ground Conference Center have been gracious enough to offer us lodging for the night.

Tomorrow morning, early, we’ll be shoving back into open waters to continue the journey west.

But before we leave we’ll pick up a stone from Higher Grounds. Hopefully Chuck won’t mind.

We’re making markers of our own.

Any journey of significance is one worth remembering…worth establishing markers and telling stories about.

What markers are you leaving? What stories are you telling?



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