So... here I am. In Southern Utah. Overlooking the most breathtaking canyons and valleys I've ever seen in my entire life.
This is the humble view from the deck of my parent's new house.
It is so amazing and peaceful here, I swear even the trees are sighing heavily with satisfaction. The other day I sat outside as a thunderstorm rolled in, and I thought maybe I'd actually died and gone to heaven- the wonder of it all was almost too much. The smell of the wet earth was enough to send me into raptures. I wanted to eat the air. The sunlight was boxing its way through the heavy gray clouds and punching the ground in gold and green streaks. The mountain peaks were lighting up and then slipping back into the shadows like brave little lighthouses.
I find myself running to the windows every few minutes throughout the day... unwilling to miss out on the constant light show before me. All that I can think of as I take in the scene is that God has crammed this earth to the very brink with beauty... that He hand crafted and placed every tree and rock and sunbeam. Also, He loves me enough to have given me eyes to see it all. And a memory enough to take a piece of this place with me wherever I go for the rest of my life.
The kindheartedness of it all is completely devastating.
Chris left on Monday, and, I'm not going to lie, I miss the boy. The days here are still quite busy and loud and full- namely because the children didn't evaporate into thin air when they heard we were going on 'vacation'. They are still the boisterous, needy little munchkins they have always been. They exhaust me. Except, now that we're here, we spend lots of our time outdoors... digging in the dirt and playing with old hot wheels cars that belonged to my brother when he was a kid. All the fresh air and sunlight and fun help me forget my tired eyes and remember my smile. I'm also remembering the strength of my arms as I plow the dirt with the pick axe and haul the rocks away... making soft ground for the future plants to grow in.
Every time I swing that axe I find myself praying along with it rhythmically as it sinks into the ground and pulls up another stone.
"Plow my heart. Dig up the stones there, too."
And as we sift through the soil and shake it down and pull out the smaller rocks after that, I find myself praying along once again.
"Sift me. Shake me. Fine-tune me."
I am thankful to be in this place. It is so very inspiring. It makes me want to write and write and write.
And breathe and breathe and breathe.
And live and live and live.