i think i've figured it out.
a week ago i woke up, stumbled out of bed, began walking down the stairs and noticed something different out of the corner of my eye. i turned my head to look out the window and stopped dead in my tracks. mountains. we had arrived at our place in canmore the night before, so i was unprepared for the realization that we were living for a week on the side of a mountain, surrounded by the opening credits of the sound of music. it was breathtaking. huge rock faces, incredible sunsets, mists that would obscure entire mountain ranges, and then dissipate like mountain peek-a-boo.
having lived the last seventeen years in British Columbia i anticipated some nostalgia. some wistful home-coming feeling. but no. i looked at those mountains and saw the immense beauty, and felt completely other. i can marginaly understand why someone would look at a mountain and desire to climb it, but for me it evokes weariness, pain, carnage, fear...need i go on? the mountains are not my home.
i started thinking about the ocean. the ocean is where scott feels at home - it's in his bones i guess, being born in victoria and living by the ocean for most of his life. when i look at the ocean i'm overwhelmed with it's vastness, i love the sound of the waves on the shore, i feel inspired to think of all those songs and psalms that speak of God's love and faithfulness as an ocean. but, again, it's too much for me to comprehend. the tide scares me. the threat of sharks. seriously. the idea that i could swim for the rest of my life and not reach the other side (because i would die within a day i'm sure). the ocean is not my home.
i got behind the wheel of our van on Monday, driving home. we had spent a lovely night with friends in New Sarepta. i was stuffed full of yeast-and-sugar-free biscuits our host whipped up for me before we left (at 9 am, bless you mike), and the cozy feeling of being loved by a friend. we headed east from Edmonton, and there i found it.
tawny fields, striated with snowy lines where machinery had driven or plowed or harvested (not my speciality!). black branches, white trunks, hills and dells, and a veiled sun looking on, hazy behind the clouds. i started to smile, and breath deeply, and pray, and shine with thankfulness. it still comes as a surprise that the prairies lie inside me, but i think i've figured it out. i can understand this beauty. it does not overwhelm me, it invites me. i picture myself running in the fields, sleeping under the trees, gathering wild flowers, picnicing. finding a stream or a lake and wading in - no tide, no sharks, just honest-working fish, and my body moving the water around me.
who knew that in moving to saskatchewan, a word i had associated with barrenness and cold and boredom (just being honest!), i would be moving to a deeper part of myself? i would find me?
you know who,
and so do i.