i've had to do a lot of that lately; parting ways i mean. just when i thought that my heart couldn't bear another goodbye, a friend, co-worker, or student would approach and i would have to start the painful process all over again. without question, this is the single most difficult thing i have ever chosen to do. but that part of this new life direction is already over. now we are a skinny 6 hours from the place where i grew up. 6 hours from commencing yet another adventure in life. 6 hours from dancing the tango with the unknown and the familiar.
the drive from california to minnesota has been a collage of emotion. i took the first leg. i wanted to take one last drive on the 5 and one more glide along the 15. every ounce of my energy was focused on holding back the tears. i could feel them so deeply, forming in the pit of my stomach and oozing towards their great escape through the bloodshot threshold of my eyes. the trip has been quiet mostly. i have desperately needed this time to process through everything. my soul hungered for communion with god and so for nearly 2,000 miles he and i have done the silent talking. papa is generally a quiet man as well, so he's taken the driver's seat after vegas. in turn, i have been able to chew the cud of reflection. the drive has also been stunningly breath-taking. the magnificent canyons of utah provide a vibrant and humbling understanding to man's finiteness. i felt simultaneously safe and vulnerable as we drove along the umbrellaed red rocks - our lives lay resting in the merciful grip of the canyons falling rocks.
papa has had first class tickets into all of my peculiarities. i like to get up with the sun and go running. i putz my way through my morning routine, taking my sweet time; and papa would cover his impatience with a comfortable blanket of tolerance. morning coffee is an absolute must, and not just any coffee will do. so he would take extra roads just so i could have my gas station coffee; it's the best you know... and they have those tiny toxic coffee-mate creamers that i crave. along with coffee addictions is my retentive need to maintain hydration. i like water, a lot. so i'd have to stock up with a gallon of water every morning. and moreover, my ability to hold liquids stands at a strong 22 minutes. again, papa would masquerade in the bedazzlement of grace. but this is a 2-way trip. for all of my strange quirks, he also has his own. he misses turns and then makes excuses so that it seems as though he knew what he was doing all along. his hearing is failing so i'm always having to repeat myself. and i've learned 2 things about pops; 1.) he's always right. and 2.) even when he's not right, he's still right. i chuckle at these things. i don't mind them so much, he's still my papa and my hero.
once we waved goodbye to utah we entered colorado. god's glory radiates through the elevation of this beautiful state. we drove up and over the mountains. higher and higher we would climb and colder and colder the temperature would drop. lush greens would transform into mounds of white as we approached the summit. the roads were as narrow as a fitted corset and as curvy as a hairpin. the pain of holding my breath out of fear was more than worth it when we finally reached the over-look at the peak. i stood in the mystery of god's creating and laid my crown of awe at his feet. my heart is slowly beginning to trust more confidently the further east we go. the love that is god casts away the fears that taint my vision.
on a different note, everything else changes with the midwest. the scenery is horrifically boring. flat. green. corn. the people begin to take on heftier shapes and the hats take on the face of buckets. instead of the organic goodness of california cafes, all that stands are beefy portions of lard and potatoes. so too, the aromas morph into nose-wrinkling smells. the sweetness of star jasmine is replaced by rotten alfalfa. cow manure and newly tilled soil robs the spotlight from salty banana sweetness of the pacific and sunscreen. ah, life in the midwest; you just have to love it.
flying down the 80 i spend some time with barnabas and paul. my mind is overwhelmed by their faith and boldness as they themselves venture out into the great unknown. they go forth only in the power of the holy spirit. i slow my reading and take in the undressing revelations that comes from lectio divina. with this, i am comforted. the spirit speaks to me and once again i am left in the glory of awe. 5 and a half hours now is all that remains of this journey. it is my epic voyage of maturity and transformation and only now am i ready to love and warrior my way into the place god is leading me.