“The sky overhead, the earth below, the mountains around. I stand in the middle place—at home.” Dr. Tine Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo
A few days ago I was standing in the visitor center in the Mesa Verde National Park and read the above quote. It whispered into my ear and dripped like thick honey into my heart. At that point our family had been on the road for 12 days traveling in our van. Our road trip was taking us from Idaho to Nashville, Tennessee and back in a lazy fashion. This was the longest stretch we have taken as a family on the road. As I write, we are finishing up the final hours of our return voyage.In the last fifteen days we have traveled 4, 714 miles covering 14 states, 5 National Parks/Monuments, 12 hotel rooms and countless potty breaks. It was rushed, there was a lot of rain, at times we couldn’t remember which state we were in, we but we loved it entirely. Continue reading “at home”
I’ve taken a few deep breaths between my last post and this one as we wrapped up our school year and settled slightly deeper into this lifestyle that is not yet old, but a bit beyond brand-new. In that time, I’ve been stretched to figure out where our family boundaries lie when our home-sweet-home rests within an RV park on public grounds.
I’ve discovered that newly formed friendships may seek out my children with a knock at our front door during breakfast, mid-morning school, afternoon or evening dinner hour. I’ve grappled to discover my appropriate response when new park playmates ask me for food, drink and band aids while their parents (whom I have not yet met) camp a short distance away. I’ve struggled to define appropriate personal space within this public place (i.e. which (if any) kids are allowed into our home and when and for how long?). These decisions demanded honest self-reflection and clear family communication.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things of earth.” Colossians 3:2
In writing about our new adventure and the town that we are getting to know, I realize that I have painted an image in your mind that is very idyllic. Perhaps it is time that I come clean and confess that it isn’t Mayberry as some have suggested. In fact, there are some very sad realities that accompany many of the people who live here. Generational problems abound. Substance abuse is common. There is a lot of hopelessness. However, I get to choose what to focus on and thankfully those situations are not the complete picture. I can stare at the trash or the treasure. I can focus on the frustrating or the fascinating. I can complain about what I don’t have or focus on what I do. I’m given the same choice every. single. morning. Continue reading “instant illumination”
Today was going to be a banner day in our kitchen. Our oven and dishwasher have been on strike since we arrived. Every meal has been carefully planned around not needing an oven and every dish has been scrubbed clean in person. This was the day that some unknown delivery man was going to drive up to our front door and deliver happiness and freedom in two large boxes. I washed dishes this morning after breakfast, silently soaking in the celebration that this would be my last date with sudsy water and dreamed about the dessert I was going to bake later that day. I then proceeded to ignore the lunch dishes and willingly permitted them to pile up knowing that soon, very soon, I would simply slip them into their magical steamy sanitation chamber.
Now that we have changed our location, our routines and the view outside our window, I have found that there is a temptation to look back at those former moments with longing. While this may seem harmless or even “normal”, I believe that the best perspective is to look back with gratitude rather than longing at that which I was able to experience.