Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Meditations on the Sky

Morning in Missouri
Have you ever noticed how the sky is ever-changing, yet always the same? This struck me the other day when I was out for a jog. It was my last day in Missouri, and as far as I know, the final time I would travel down this particular gravel road. I was feeling the ripping of the fabric of life, wondering how my world would look when I pieced it back together, and mourning the loss of such perfection as the road crunched beneath my feet.

Sycamore Sunrise
Okay, I know that's putting it abit dramatically, but last times are like that, I've found. We wonder if we can survive. We wonder if, once we are irrevocably past holding on to the moment, we will have anything left in our hands. So I was jogging and emoting along these lines, when I happened to look up at the sky.

It took my breath away, that sky of early morning, streaked with the fresh rose and gold of sunrise; the heavens stretching broad and exultant above me. It seemed in that moment the most beautiful sky I have ever seen or ever would see, this last sunrise over the line of sycamores that march up our driveway

This was not a welcome thought, but on its heels came one of comfort: No matter where I am in the world, Missouri, California, or anywhere in between, I will always have the sky.

California Sky
Have you ever considered how very like God  the sky is? No matter who we are on the face of the earth, the sky is smiling down on each of us. He is yesterday, today, and forever the same. Constant. And yet, just as the ever-changing sky, He is different to each of us because we're each on our own journey, you and I.

You see a different sky--a different reflection of Him than meets my eye. And yet we are all encompassed by His care.

I'm so glad the sky is always there!

Sunset over Whiskeytown Lake

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Missouri Farewell

Home place
Here I am in Missouri, and this time of sorting and packing is definitely bittersweet. I love this state, our home for 23 years, with its lush green fields, billowing trees and misty mornings alight with birdsong and peace.

This gracious old house with its high ceilings and transom windows holds nine years of accumulated memories (and 30 years of accumulated stuff, I might add). But I am leaving all this--leaving it for good this time, and that is hard. Hard, yes, but as I sort and pack, if I think about staying, my heart sinks.

The trail leads ever onward
 I love this place, this house, these friends that are part of my history and who I am. But it is time.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven..."

This is what I ponder as I pack: there is "...a time to keep, and a time to cast away..." and it is comforting to know that the time of keeping--the accumulating and the dreams that accompanied that time--were good and right. It is not a commentary on the worth of a thing to let it go. It is a recognition of times and seasons.

Looking off toward the pond

Here now are the last golden days before the door closes on a season. Bittersweet. Precious. A time to weep, even mourn, as one mourns the ending of something lovely--something that will never again be here in this Missouri place. Those things are part of me, and though now perhaps they are passing into the realm of memories, those years are just as valid and valuable as today and tomorrow. In fact, they are what fitted me for today and positioned me for tomorrow. In those years, it was a time to gather. Now is a time to distribute...

Morning fog on a morning jog
I wish endings were more fun. This lying to rest of a myriad of things, this saying goodbye to an era that spans my children's growing up years feels at times like an arrow in my heart. But to stay on here in this beautiful place does not bring back those years. The children will not magically become babes again because I hold on to a house. And when I contemplate holding on, a different kind of pang assails me, one that feels old and tired and finished. A mortal wounding, a deciding to pitch my tent and watch while all the adventures and explorations of my future fade away and I am left with only house and land. And that is not enough for me.

Barn and granary
So though it is a time of farewells, it is also a time of beginnings, of new horizons, and memories to be made. With everything I "cast away", my hands are freer to receive what I have yet to know. Yes, it is a time to weep, but also to laugh and to dance for what lies ahead. A time to love what has been and a time to love what is to come. This season of farewells will pass, as is the nature of seasons, and I will remember with peace all the years and friends grown dear in this place.

Pond and barn, rolling fields, and wide-open skies