new life.

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From Oregon to Georgia.
Pacific ocean to the Atlantic, crossing over the mighty Mississippi.
Steelhead salmon to them channel Catfish.

Whew.

A lot.

It feels a bit odd to be moving around so much. I realize the luxury in getting to do so. I have also been blown away by the hospitality — the people wanting me to move into their cities — don’t they know how much of a goober I am? I should really warn those people.

There has been a theme, throughout this little ride.

Daffodils blooming. Escaping the snow by a day or two. Green pastures and conversation of change.
New babies. New love.

Rebirth.

New life.

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That is what I see. In the midst of the mud and murk, I emerge like that catfish, mouth agape, feeling the sunshine beam upon my whiskery face.

I realize, that what I am seeing as I pass through states, and after I leave one place for another, are pockets of new life. All of the time, they are being remade. Whether that is a baby or a marriage or a job. I see it all bursting through the ground like them daffodils after the long, cold dark of winter.

I see Justin planting his garden behind his Tennessee home, while watching L jump on the trampoline yelling, “Okay, watch this!” And I can see both of L’s parents, smiling and admiring all of the little things they have growing. More so, L’s parents inspire me to keep moving and loving. (And that when a kid needs to dance, you just gotta let him dance…)

Abbye and Jeff playing hide and seek with their neighbor’s kids, and embracing their city and neighborhood as though they have already decided on something big. I love seeing people go all in on a place.

I see my cousin behind the bar, smiling, sharing with us something he has extreme passion for — and the relationships he’s made. I’m proud of him, but not in the way people say when someone has just started to get their stuff together. I’ve always been proud of him. I’ve missed his friendship, and I’m excited to be closer to my family.

To SJ, my sister asking hard questions and seeing beauty and wonder in all the small things.

So now, I sit at my dad’s desk, writing with the sun at my back.

I think about the Beloved community. How good everyone has been to me this past month. Giving me their beds, paying for my drinks and my food. They’ve showed me their cities and have allowed me to meet their own little communities. Usually I am exhausted by all the hustle and bustle, but I have been so lucky to meet and share a table with so many this month. It further reinforces all those big things I keep in my heart.

Because given the opportunity, I would give these people whatever they needed, whenever. The gratitude of taking in a weary traveler has always been something close to my heart.
So, I sit back and imagine what’s next.

And I feel okay. I feel loved.

I see life, and I see it moving on.

From one place to another, life being made new.

reincarnation-like.

Yeah, I think it’s gonna be okay.

 

Spring (of death and resurrection)

Story

It felt right to talk about Spring.

Yes, the weather is crazy un-Spring like. But when is it ever as it’s supposed to be? As though flowers bloom and bees come awake buzzing while the air smells sweet of azaleas and wisteria. Well it’s not here.

And that’s okay.

It’s this time of year especially that western Oregon feels like an emotional wreck. Its huge wind gusts and sideways rain mixed with the  brightest and most naked sun. It’s odd. It’s messy.

It’s Spring.

Along with it comes the hope of new vegetables (Or should I say “in-season” vegetables). Likely in the form of stinging nettles — which you’ll see on almost every menu in Portland — and the hope of asparagus and watercress and artichokes when you’ve heard enough about all you can do with parsnips and beets.

I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Dwight Schrute says it is one of the main human weaknesses. (Along with the neck.)

Spring to me means the things a’bloom.

We are right to assume there is a lot going on now. Our noses are clogged. Our eyes are itchy. The way things shoot out of the ground like some ancient story. And yet it always feels new.

Along with nostalgia, I’m really into changing seasons and what it means for me. To work against this is exhausting. It’s safe to say we’ve done terrible things by manipulating the seasons. Food loses flavor. You become out of touch with how things are supposed to be. I would like to get back to that.

Spring in the Church means lots of things and is something I’ll always remember growing up in the Bible Belt. Death and Resurrection. I question most things I used to believe in (as we all do from time to time), but I am well aware of what this season brings. And I can still feel it in my bones, shaking the cold off as those furry creatures do waking up to a warmer day.

A season of death.

And also a season of resurrection.

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I suppose nothing feels more like this than the transition of Winter into Spring.

That great life force sinks into my skin and I am reminded again of why we can’t always have it all. Why some things die, and some things come back brand new.

Let it fill you up.

Mourn the passing of another season.

Because it’s Spring.

And because those old roots are filling with life again.