With the arrival of spring I am reminded often of growing up on my family’s farm. I like stepping gingerly around the baby kitties running all underfoot, watching robins scattered over the lawn pecking at the ground to find worms, and admiring the apple tree blooming its lovely pink blossoms. I like waiting expectantly for the ground to warm up enough to begin planting my garden, for the weekend days that are warm enough to lay in the hammock all the afternoon in the sun, and the sunny days with just a wisp of a breeze for a good picnic (before the bugs come out for the summer). I like the light notes the breeze plays on the garden chimes swinging in the pear tree, the psithurism through the windbreak, and the low rumble of the lawn mower on those Saturday mornings I like to sleep in, but my early-rising mom is out busy in the yard. I like the sweet scent of lilac flowers blooming on the bushes my great grandma cared for, the organic smell of the ground as it thaws from long winters, and the freshness of clean sheets after they’ve dried in the spring winds. I like the juiciness of the season’s first strawberry, the coolness of lemonade, and the mouth-watering hamburgers fresh off the barbeque grill. I miss these memories, and I want to relive them, appreciating them more fully while I still have the chance.
I came to Colorado to begin an adventure I couldn’t explain. I realized that what I had is what I want. It took hundreds of miles to give me the space I needed to think. Summer ended, fall began and I didn’t know home from a house. Why had I come? Was I running away from the sameness, mundane life of home I’d always known or searching for meaning, understanding and faith? Months later I confidently say I was running away from things as well as running for things. What I find myself returning to is the very home I’d run from. Those I love the most are my home where I put my dependence, which is Jesus first, my family second, and friends third.
Life apart from home can be fun and exciting, but it isn’t as rich. And I don’t mean merely physical distance, but to give up spiritual and emotional togetherness. Through this time I’ve lived six hours away from my family I’ve actually become closer to them relationally. Now I want to be dependent on those I love, and truly cherish family–my biological family as well as my spiritual family.
I have a pretty independent spirit, which makes the idea of physically moving back in with my family a bit of a hurdle, but I believe it’s crucial to my good character. I won’t lie or make myself sound better than I am here, the truth is I still struggle with feminine strength. I want to be feminine and strong, but it’s hard to not be strong in the wrong ways. There are distinct differences between men’s strength and women’s strength . . . and I do not want to become a feminist.
More than this relinquishing, moving back will take courage. There are points about moving back to my hometown which are very hard, much of the reason I left in the first place, but I don’t want to hide.
Spring, along with other loves, are calling me home with their hopeful promises of new beginnings and second chances. God has lead me on a journey in knowing myself, understanding life, meeting new people, and learning from experience and the next stop on the journey is home. I’m going back to the start. I wonder where life will lead from there. I’m ready.