I’m sitting on my mom’s back porch, swaying with the breeze on her porch swing. The wind chimes are competing with the rustling leaves for my attention while I occasionally check in on the chess game unfolding before me between my mom and oldest son.
SHROUDED IN SMOKE
We’ve been parked in her driveway for over a week and our hearts have been filled with a myriad of memories in that brief blink of time. When we first arrived in Northeast Washington, forest fires provided a blanket, shrouding the mountains in smoke.
I grew up here. I’ve driven these roads and skied these waters. My mind is able to pull back the curtain of smoke and know that despite the layers hiding it, beauty is here.
A few days after our arrival, the wind shifts and the landscape is unveiled. The pine trees point proudly skyward and rolling fields dip their necks toward placid waters. We stand in awe of what we knew was there but before this moment could not fully appreciate.
My brother arrives from Southern California, surprising our mom for her 60th birthday and her joy is made complete.
In the evening we bundle up and head to the water’s edge to watch meteors skate across the sky. We keep a running count until eyelids begin to droop. Heading home, kids fall asleep in the car under the inky cover of night.
The following days are filled with board games, crafts, movies, library visits, floating the river, fishing, huckleberry picking and workouts (yes, I’m still on the wagon). We eat like kings as mom prepares venison, turkey, grilled chicken and her famous homemade ice cream sandwiches.
FUTURE BEAUTY LOOMS
As our time wanes, we make plans for the coming months: solar eclipse viewing, RV warranty work, staying with friends while our home is repaired, comparing travel itineraries with other full-time families and securing fall campground reservations in the Southwest. Like the hazy skies, we can’t know with certainty what the future holds. Yet we’ve looped the US within the last year. We’ve seen God provide opportunities for growth and provision for our needs at every bend in the road. My mind is able to tug at the hem and peek behind the veil enough to know that wherever the Lord leads us, we will find His beauty leading us forward.