It’s raining

It’s getting dark, too. I am outside, while everyone else is inside. I keep looking around wondering if there is anyone else who enjoys the rain like I do. Sometimes cars drive past, and their headlights expose me–just a strange, small girl walking with her palms open, the street water glistening on her bare toes.

When I walk back inside, I will look at my palm and try to count the raindrops. But there will only be a puddle. I wonder if I am learning something right now, if all the little particles and experiences and situations of life come together at the end to form one big… what? Right now I will just let the water tickle my skin. I wondered this morning if the rain was God spitting. Or crying. Maybe the angels were taking a shower or having a water fight in the heavens.

Down here on earth, the rain makes me happy and thoughtful.

A day in the life

I found an inchworm in my bowl of berries this morning. It was hidden under the purple-black-blues of the sweet fruits, a ways away from the tart red of the fuzzy raspberries on the right side of my plate.

I took it on my index finger and it wriggled and wormed and rolled around on my pink skin until my dad told me to squish it, but I looked on it with compassion and took it outside to the leafy garden where the little guy inched its body around the jagged edge of a leaf. I watched it move and wondered to myself what a day in the life of an inchworm would look like. I will never know, but it seemed it’d take an entire day for it to find its way around such a small plant. What a change in perspective. Continue reading “A day in the life”

Morning Hikes

There is something about the mountain air that makes me come alive. Something about the songbirds. Something about the invisible rain.

Mornings are best spent alone in reflection. Let your skin breathe and soak in the glittery sun. Let it feel the papery leaves spilling their sweet drops of dew onto the heavy, dark earth. I am thankful for the new mercies of this morning. Thankful for the silence and the solitude.

Time seems to slow here, and I wish not to disrupt my peace with my thoughts, which are often so bound to yesterdays and tomorrows.

Sanctuary

The bike was a sort of portable sanctuary for her, as strange as that sounded. She could bike for miles without thinking a single thing, so focused she’d be on the allure of sunlight filtering through lacy leaves, the tentative beauty of petals raining down onto the well-worn paths, the rush of sound and wind and color on the tightrope of death and life. She liked to go fast, leaving her thoughts behind, leaving [the boy] behind before he could leave her looking at his backside, leaving her inadequacies and insecurities far behind and fixing her eyes on what lay ahead until she returned home, tired. She’d climb onto her mattress, nothing but red heat and sticky sweat before she washed up and waited at her desk for her thoughts to catch up with her so she could feel again that subtle persistence of being out of place.

A response to the daily prompt as well as an excerpt from a short novella-type-of-thing I had been working on.

Reminders for a weak heart

My eyes are dry
my faith is old
my heart is hard
my prayers are cold

And I know how
I ought to be
alive to You,
and dead to me.

Oh what can be done for an old heart like mine?
Soften it up with oil and wine.
The oil is You,
Your spirit of love… please wash me anew, in the wine of Your love.

–Keith Green, My eyes are dry

 

This has become the cry of my heart. I know He allows dry seasons in our lives, that seasons are necessary for bearing fruit. I am fearful sometimes, though, of my lack of zeal, my lack of knowledge. Am I in right-standing with God? Yet I am hopeful because I know the truth; it has been revealed to me by grace. I am eternally grateful to the one who has ransomed me. I wish to be faithful, trusting in His intentions for me so that I know He has not left me to dry up, but that in His time, I will find my ultimate satisfaction. Beyond the music, beyond the noise, beyond the hymns. Beyond words and human affirmation. Beyond myself… I wish to know Him for who He is because the more I find of Him, the deeper I fall in love.

In the midst of this spiritual desert, I wish to trust Him and be faithful. Faithful in seeking. In waiting. In giving.

I have doubts about myself. Do I have pure intentions? Am I hardened? Am I back-sliding? When I look to myself, I am filled with hopelessness because before God, even my own righteousness is far too filthy. When I look to myself, I grow arrogant if I feel I am doing well in the eyes of man. When I look to myself, I do not see Jesus.

But when I look to Christ, I am reminded… reminded of the truth. And the truth is this: God is faithful in every season.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Ps 27:14)

Time zones

Back in Utah my family noticed we’d lost an hour. As the distance between us and our old home grows, and the things we took for granted once during the lazy summer (like time, like 80 degree highs) change into greater indicators of distance, I can’t help but feel a muted sadness tug at my chest. The car’s dashboard clock blinks California’s time while my phone shows a three hour difference. You/he/she/they are eating dinner while my eyes are drowsy with sleep. When they begin stirring in their beds as the western sky awakes, I will be well into the day, stomach full and my mind also full of two different realities.

I am traveling through the middle ground, though now closer to the east than the west. The middle ground: where the past mixes with the present. Looking at license plates, I am amazed–Illinois, New Jersey, Canada… people from all different walks of life are gathered here. I remember the game that a friend would play with her sister, how they’d punch each other lightly whenever they spotted a different license plate, a rare sight in our quiet town in southern California. I pass Dairy Queen, a common chain store, and remember my last conversation with my friend Hannah, how we’d sat holding Oreo milkshakes, our hands cold as we teared up, throats swollen with goodbyes we both could not believe. Other stores in these new places bring old memories to mind: driving Sarah down the shiny aisles at Target, looking for birthday gifts for friends at Walmart, hiking in the mountains with familiar faces… 

How many states separate us now? California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio… In a matter of 7 days, I have become more of a stranger, a sojourner. I read once that it hurts to leave because people are connected to places. I forgot this to be true until today, when little reminders in the form of online messages and emails and unexpected texts brought my attention to my heart strings, how they have become so intertwined with the people back home. Home, for me, has never been a place, but a gathering of people I love.

It is all quite excruciating. My cheeks are wet, but there is still joy in knowing that we all carry inside ourselves a little home. Our arms, our hearts, our shoulders… they are all someone’s home if we will allow them to be. I have many homes, and so I keep traveling, going door to door in the hopes of finding some place I can stay for eternity. But I realize my heart strings are already bound to the courts above, that sojourn, (noun) means “a temporary stay.”

 

***Forgive me because it takes me a long while to say goodbye. I keep writing in the hopes of gaining closure, but what if I don’t need it? Perhaps this is not goodbye at all, perhaps this new chapter will only enrich the story that is being written instead of altering it completely.