At the intersection where the first half of life and the second half of life meet, it feels like the ride has been way beyond my wildest dreams. A roller coaster ride. The old wooden kind with creaks and groans only hinting at, the next hammering plunge.
Here's the progression, you can literally hear and see "the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift" of the "Hallelujah" timeline in my life.
Spiritually, most of my life was moving sideways from the frying pan into the fire into a forge. They wore different costumes and different names. Each time I stepped sideways, I thought I was stepping up. At some lonely unmarked junction, I took a turn for freedom. Nothing has been the same since.
The forge experience melted me and formed me, tempered me. The strongest iron is heated, bent, sometimes folded, pounded and finally baptised in cold water where it coughs and sputters breathlessy in shock. The process is worked and repeated over again, until the instinct of the blacksmith knows it is finished. Tempered. Tempering is what makes it strong, reliable and usable. Elastic. Resilient. Not easily cracked or broken. A reliable and usable tool.