In the wake of spring when beautiful things begin to bloom and unfold an unexpected wind came coasting in. At first I was indifferent to the breeze not wanting to get caught up in its wake. Yet, little by little, early morning coffee sessions, midnight drives, sitting beneath trees-it blossomed. It blossomed delicately and suddenly and we both embraced it.
River walks to fancy dinners at Marcello’s and kissing at red lights-an epic windswept adventure. Where our eyes smile from our cheeks and we laugh at things we can only understand, a secret between lovers.
We journey hand in hand, wherever the journey may lead, for this time is ours.
*A picture of I and the blokes walk from our time by the river.
We explore in order to discover. We stop seeking in order to find. We risk in order to gain. In this season of my life a lot has been held in the paradoxes of life. Am learning that sometimes what may be right for me may not translate to other people and thats okay. Its okay to be unconventional. Its okay to do things in my own way, and to cast a line out to life and believe and hope for the best.
I am learning to go back to the basics. I’m learning to let things go that are beyond my control, its a way of living that I’ve always strived to know. And its not easy, every morning when the anxiety of the desire to control sets in I breathe look to the sky-the beautiful face of God- and believe, and trust him through the heartache. I didn’t get the promotion that I worked so hard for, and for a while everything I hoped for was threatened. A dark cloud spread across what I thought was going to be the start of a great year. BUT GOD-in all his godliness reminded me that its not the end until he says it is. Until he bolts the door and tosses the key. Its not over until my God says it is.
I had lost faith in journalism, I had seen too many horrid things. Things humans shouldn’t do to other humans but then one morning over coffee and an ancient face and voice met with me and reminded me of the power of the lens. Of the weapon that a camera can be and the passion that never lets you give up even when you just feel like its not worth it anymore. There in the Frontier over breakfast burrito, and surprisingly good coffee I left with a hope-a vision to create, inspire, innovate and create change. There in the ancient eyes of one of my mentors I refused to give up.
And so we “beat on like boats against the current,” attempting to live each day in beauty. Grabbing coffee in the early morning at Limonata as the sky lay covered in looming grey clouds bringing in sleet and snow. And we sipped our coffee and we scribbled on the condensed filled window the word friend, and fought for our happiness. Fought to relinquish control, breathe and savor the moments left before the Great Departure. And it all felt like breathing. And it felt like a great rebellion to the sadness in this world.
And we drove. We drove in the same familiar red Jeep to a new place. Where a part of Korea lay hidden like a gem in this tired city. We greeted the face of the old man with “Annyeonghaseyo,” we bowed and I looked on with curiosity at the touch of a faraway place, while my dear friend smiled at the familiarity. There sprawled on shelves lay treasures of a culture that has grown like moss in me. There sprawled on the shelves lay my desires to know that place and to visit it one day. There on the shelves lay a new adventure waiting to be tamed, ventured and lived.
And there on the tongue of the old man lay the language of something so new, shiny and utterly enticing.
But isn’t it like God to bring wonder into our lives? Isn’t it like God to resurrect dead bones, and to breathe into a life that couldn’t bare with the monotony anymore. Isn’t it like God to spark new desires and goals so that our souls won’t grow old. Isn’t it like God to make treasure out of rubble. And isn’t it like God to create life over and over and over and over again?
Isn’t it glorious to know that no matter how hurt we are, that no matter how much we screw things up that HE STILL HAS A PLAN FOR US.
Isn’t it grand to know that such a God exists?
“so we beat on boats against the current,” with eyes wide in wonder of what still is to come. The trips that still need to be taken, the new friendships that have formed, the new language that is to be learned, the new book that needs to be read, the cup of coffee that will be savored, and the prayers that will be answered.
22-23 “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! (Matthew 6:22-23 The MSG)
Its another beautiful crisp Autumn day, yet somewhere inside myself I find this desire to escape it all yet preserve it all. A part of me knows that I’ll be saying goodbye soon and it makes my heart go numb. I’ll miss the smell of jasmine in the spring and the smell of freshly brewed coffee from all these coffee shops, and I know I’ll miss the hustle and bustle of the CBD district, the sail boats amidst the harbor, the salty ocean and the culture. Today as I wondered through the breathtaking Surry Hills I held the urge to cry. I do not want to leave, yet as I gazed at the families and the couples walking to and fro and sipping their delicious concoctions I just knew I wouldn’t find that here. A part of me is more afraid of leaving instead of staying… and who would’ve thought staying a hundred miles from home would be the easiest thing instead of returning.
I guess this is all part of growing up. Letting places grow in you, yet still have that space in your heart that is willing to let go. I guess its all held in its own tension. The tension between growing and letting go, and still remaining in the rhythm of the universe. Its hard to believe that it can get better than this. I’ve tasted milk and honey, bitter and sweet but above it all I have tasted a bit of life and God. I’ve grown here and I just hope that through the erosion of time, that I manage to remember more than I manage to forget. I hope I remember all the good things and hold on to them more than I hold on to the bad.
Time is a beautiful paradox. It has the power to heal and keep memories frozen in a moment, yet it also has the power to steal and wither. I just want so badly to believe that what lies over the Pacific is worth it, that it brings with it a new dawn, a new beginning, a new chapter and a new adventure. But above all I hope to preserve these memories like gold coins yet not suffocate from them (in a sense of wishing for what was) but instead hold onto them like a small firefly that illuminates the beautiful yet is ever so free.
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
*A small reflection from my journal around this same time last year and thought I’d share it. Picture from my Sunday afternoon walk. Hope you enjoy friends. All the best… might disappear for a while due to a crazy season of college life. Hope to have new observations, photography and ramblings to share. Until then enjoy.
Sometimes Lord I wonder what it feels and means to feel truly alive; to have those moments when one feels infinite. I think back to all the little moments and memories of my life and I feel as though they have escaped through my fingers. I have a feeling that it all should mean something. That it should all unveil a divine secret with a lot of meaning. You know like in novels where the color yellow is supposed to symbolize the start of spring, or romance or something of that sort. It’s fall here now, and it feels good against my skin and it makes me want to set out to the ocean. I want to be out in the middle of the ocean looking at the sky and the vast array of stars that light up the night sky… I want those moments God, and I got a glimpse of those moments in Colour. It was as though something divine was colliding with my small insignificant world… Like light touching the surface of a blanket and setting it aglow in many colors. I talked with real women. With women who were in different places in life traveling past one another at different paces. And I realized that those are what makes a life meaningful, the way that the divine and the sovereign can weave itself into something so human so dull and make it vibrant and lush forth new colors and smells. Combining two worlds that did not exist before; ebbing and flowing together like watercolors do on a simple piece of white paper, transforming it into something way bigger than itself. This season finds me clutching the precious shiny toys at the altar; not wishing to depart from them because they bring comfort to the unfamiliar. I just want to believe that at the end of this road I will think that it was all worth it; the pain, the fear, the weakness. Knowing that though I failed more times than I could count that I gave it everything that I invested my heart yet guarded it with Godly measures. And it gets me thinking Lord, hoping with everything that I am, that two years is all that will be required of me. Hoping that I continue to shed and grow into a tree that has its roots rooted deep, deep down into the earth enriched soil. I hope that you look back on my life and say that it was a story worth telling because your son was shined throughout every step, fingerprint and fiber of my being…
Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller.” Donald Miller
So Lord, even though I desperately want to skip over these chapters give me the strength, the grace, wisdom, knowledge and overall peace that your beloved Holy Spirit that is dwelling within me has it ALL under control and so much more. It’s like calm electricity in the air… something big is around the corner I can sense it… I know that underneath the moonlight, trees and clear sky you are whispering breathing and believing and cultivating something beautiful uniquely for me….
I trust you my beautiful Master Storyteller.