So there I was standing in a field in the middle of nowhere with soldiers running past me in every direction. Muskets were firing, flags were waving and general pandemonium reigned around me under a cornflower blue Californian sky.
“Sorry? Say that again??” I yelled into my cellphone to my lawyer on the other end with one finger stuffed in my other ear. “I didn’t hear that, he offered what?”
You see, my soon to be ex-husband had sent me an 11th hour divorce settlement in order to avoid trial the following day, and given me only three hours to respond… but I was standing in the middle of a full scale reenactment of the Revolutionary War.
I was in a field, above an apple farm in Northern California, on an overnight field trip with my ten year old son and his class.
Doesn’t that sound like a crazy dream you’re left trying to interpret? Well it could have been but no…
Redcoats raced past me while I fielded phone calls and talked strategy. Captains marched past yelling orders in loud English accents – “Look lively, you young scoundrels!” – to hundreds of highly excited elementary schoolchildren while I negotiated huge life decisions that would impact the lives of my two children and myself for years to come.
Below us, at the bottom of the field, very noisy if diminutive Patriots armed with sticks were defending the farm yelling, “THE BRITISH ARE COMING!”
The whole company had been enlisted to fight either under the banner of the righteous colonists or under the Union Jack as the soon to be massacred army of an unjust English King.
“Hang on!” I yelled into the phone watching from the sidelines, “I think my son just went down with the first wave!!! Oh no, wait – he’s up!! Carry on!!”
It was one of the more surreal days of my life, I have to admit. However it did make a weird kind of sense to be there. Who else but God could have orchestrated such a metaphor?
First: It was the Americans vs. the British.
Second: The Americans were revolting against the unjust rule of the Crown to gain their completely justified independence and freedom from tyranny. The dividing of two nations whose union no longer proved either tenable nor honorable.
I flip flop between sides in the metaphor (I’m British and gaining my independence) but what an uncanny parallel to my present passage in life.
It was a day full of tears and laughter. The children’s father and I finally settled our divorce – through my lawyer – over the phone – at around midday. When it was done, I left a courtroom scene the children had been enacting to walk away for a silent weep.
It is such a massive chapter of my life – and my children’s lives – that has come to a close. All will be different from here on out. Even though divorce was ultimately the only decision I could have made, there is still enormous grief in its realization.
However, as well as tears, laughter did come at the end of the day –
As I strolled over to the Trading Post to buy my son a slingshot, I happened to notice the glorious red t-shirts they were selling. WAIT.
Of all the PLACES I could have been on that day?
Of all the T-SHIRTS they might have been selling?
They were selling only this one:
How could I not buy it? I roared with laughter and took it to be God’s wink that He really is, indeed, absolutely in the midst of even the smallest details of my life.
So, what now?