I can still see her golden curls like a halo around her sweet little head... running in the woods that surrounded our home on a mountain side. It didn't feel like a mountain side, compared to the steeper grades in ready view from our vantage point. But truth is, especially to this Midwestern girl, it was a mountain side.
A house that had an entry point upstairs AND downstairs with a basement settled into the rock and carved, like other homes stretched wide in the neighborhood. I still remember when the dirt road ended just the other side of our steep horse-shoe driveway and, if the kids had not been properly instructed, could have easily wandered off to find bears or dear to make home with. Mountain lions always kept my smallest ones close lest they be drug off as local legend said they could be if un-attended
I loved it, I appreciated it... but not as much as I should have. And though it has been 3 years now since my children ran and played in those tall woods on that steep mountain-side, I still miss it. I look at the grass and fences and houses so close you can smell what the neighbors are cooking for dinner and I long, sometimes, for the smell of pine and tamarack and ceder, the hush of the forest, chirps of birds and far-off sounds of boat horns and speed boats on the lake far below.
Oh the peace and inspiration of the place. And I know it isn't I alone... the children long to run wild and not run into walls or traffic or impartial passer-bys. Where everyone use to wave, now everyone waifs by in their hurried expeditions to go go go, do do do. Their hearts groan to feel the pine-needle floor beneath their pattering feet... to turn over rocks and stumps in search of life... to poke holes with sticks and hunt rabbits and mice in dreams of a new pet! To snip and sip honey suckles and pick wild daisies and dainty roses to mesh in bouquets of dandelion brought to mama. To sit and watch deer and turkey pass slowly, trustingly through the vastness that borders yards in those parts.
It has crippled me these months since passing from full-time en-route-traveling-around the country on missions into full-time life with a regular job, regular house again, regular duties and part-time mission dreams that never seem to produce because I can't let go.
I grew up a city girl, raised on the cement of Chicago suburbia streets and parking lots. My cuts and scrapes came from hard asphalt not dirt and rock. Rare excursions to forest preserves... preserve... as though preserving the beautify of what once existed before the cement disease took over. It suffocated this girl and when I first glimpsed the mountains and pine that would usher in adulthood, I knew I could never go back to the cement cage of city life.
Yet here I am, where mountains give way to cliffs and plains. Where 'city' in most senses of city, is all I see. Forests are a journey... I still havent' found one and I am told, the mountainous beauty of the northwest isn't really Montana... THIS, this stark land scape, THIS is Montana and what the west was built on. This, 'biggest city in the state' bordered by the wilderness of open ranges, cattle farms and wheat fields. The other side of the mountains where the wind whips down from it's journey across the Cascades and Rockies of the northwest then sweeps across from here to the plains of the Midwest.
It was a harsh reality which hit me with those words. One which I knew I must embrace. God has called us for a purpose. Our Mission to serve him has laid dormant much too long. This blog, God's call for me to write, serving others... it has all been buried under letting go.
The simplest beauty is the presence of God in my life... in knowing He is with me and where He is... where He has called... Beauty is a mere prayer away.
I'm letting go.
Letting go of the past that has bound me and kept me form writing and living and growing in.this.place. I am choosing to reach out to the future and love the present for the hope my Lord gives me. It is the least I can do... yet still nothing compared to all He has done for me. He deserves ALL of me and so I am letting Go.
I pray, whatever holds you back from seeing beauty and hope right where you are, that you might focus on the Lord, letting go of the chains that bind you and reaching out for the hope that lies ahead.