My sabbatical is official! I’m leaving on Monday (Jan 30th) for a cross country drive to Washington state. I’ll be there the month of February before taking the looooong way home down the coast of California. Coastal California’s HWY 1 is supposed to be one of the most beautiful drives our country offers.
Finally, the Grand Canyon. I’ve dreamt about it a thousand times. I have no idea what to expect of the desert in winter, but I know the Grand Canyon, in the splendor of God’s creative majesty, will be there waiting. I’m hungry too for the open land views of Nevada & New Mexico. So much to see…so much to find.
I’m on a heart journey…
Now I know I’m not going to literally find my heart on Whidbey Island, WA nor on the quiet scenic highways of this beautiful-yet-unseen-by-me country I’ve called home for nearly 40 years, but I believe in the power and function of the symbolic.
When I still owned my property, every time there was something deep inside my soul I wanted, needed, ached to uproot but couldn’t seem to reach, I’d always find myself in the yard chopping, digging, pulling up the old stunted root balls of piteous shrubs devoid of promised flowers.
Kim came to help me once or twice. We worked quietly. Axes above our heads, coming down with all our might on the years of growth, grown and yet not growing, out of breath and fighting for it. Something broke back then, of that I’m sure, though I could never tell you what or how.
And then what about the homecoming from the May ’08 weekend trip to NYC with Cheryl? Somehow the journey gave me the strength, the boldness, to walk into my storage closet and purge. It might not sound like much to you but I’d been sort of afraid to go in there before. I’d dash in and grab the mower or any other tool I could quickly put my hands on, and pop right out again.
The dim, the black corners, the webs, the smell I could never really peg always gripped me at the back of the neck before. But something about walking the City’s blocks in that strange May chill, and finding our way after being subway lost for two hours, and finally being able to settle with myself that the $20 bucks the junkie hustled was still good seed, made me come straight home and drag my junk, excesses, and seasonal whims right out of that storage closet. When it was all piled out on the street, I saw the mess I’d been hoarding and hiding from out of a fear to “go inside”.
Eight months later, NYC was my home. I believe the key was in the symbolism….that it always is. That when we clear out and explore things in the natural, we call forth the manifestation and discovery of those unseen things we long for.
And so now I’ve come to “the miles”……. 7,000 at least. And I know they’re pregnant with a special delivery for me. The way I’ve dreamed about them. The way they’ve come. It’s like exploration begs to be known of us. “Who’ll go?”, I hear it asking. I will. I feel I have to. And I can be dramatic here and say death is the only other option for me and know you might call it baloney…but it’s true.
I’m looking for something that’s been buried so deep down inside myself it’s gonna take ‘the miles’ for me to ever have a shot at getting home. Some where along the way, the teeny tiny little girl in me became afraid of being the fullness of herself. She became afraid of receiving and sharing love in its purest form, unconditionally. She became paralyzingly protective of her ideas and creativity, of her voice and touch, and even of her company. She is imprisoned behind the walls and the vow she made with herself to not be hurt, criticized, blamed, or misunderstood anymore. She’s in a prison dimly lit in places, pitch black in others, and so so many webs.
I’ll use “the miles” to go in and get her. Like the ladder Jacob dreamed, the angels will ascend and descend upon them ministering that all is well, and always has been. And God Himself will come and speak the promise of a lullaby to the little girl who needs to hear His voice more than anything.