Light Notes

A wing and a prayer 30 years ago

They were on the move to find a better place.

But when they went past the café window where I was enjoying tea, I could see they were definitely two ducks out of water.

For some reason, they reminded me of my husband Bill and I about 30 years ago.

Maybe it was the way these two mallards waddled up the sidewalk, but I suspect it was the fact that these birds weren’t quite sure of what was ahead.

That’s how we felt when we left California in 1978 and headed north.

On a hot August day, we packed up the kids and a rented U-Haul with our meager possessions, kissed our elderly neighbor goodbye and drove off toward Washington state.

No job -- only hope.

This “land of plenty” we’d heard about from friends sounded like the kind of place we wanted to raise our two young daughters. The possibility that a teaching job might come our way in this booming community east of the Cascade Mountains convinced us to migrate.

The timing wasn’t perfect. Our home hadn’t closed escrow, but we felt an urgency to make the move before any more time passed.

“But you don’t have a job!” my mother wailed as we told her the news. “And Bill has a perfectly good one.”

“I know, Mom, but we feel like it’s what we’re supposed to do,” I reassured her. “For some reason, I just have a peace about it.”

But as the miles passed and we were farther and farther from home, my heart wavered. It was then that a comforting thought settled upon me, reminding me continually that everything would be OK.

And it was.

A message was waiting for us when we arrived: The local high school was trying to contact Bill about a teaching position that had just become available.

It was just what I’d hoped and prayed.

That was many years ago. And there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since we embarked on that new path; one that would take us to places unknown.

At the time, God’s reassuring voice was an out-of-the-ordinary experience for me. But nowadays when I think about trying something new, I know for certain that He is with me.

Even if the venture is on a wing and a prayer.