Thursday, April 23, 2015

Remembering without Regret

I've had the opportunity to live in some truly beautiful places. My first adventure was to an ancient city in Northern England. I can remember peering out the train window on my way to York and pinching myself. I felt like I was in a dream--white lambs dotted the emerald hillsides. My heart was bursting with my first international adventure.

I spent two summers in the Redwood forest. Then there was that year where dolphins and bald eagles were a daily occurrence. There was the  pristine air of Northern Montana that tingled my nose with pine and woodsmoke. Then there was Southeast Asia, sticky sweet with an abundance of mangoes and melons just as sweet.

Most recently I got the chance to live in a tiny town on the Oregon Coast. At high tide, I could hear the waves crashing right outside my window. The steady push and pull lulled me to sleep every night for several months.

Circumstances have brought me back to the high desert of Idaho. If you were to just drive down the center of this city, it's really difficult to find the beauty. But I've lived here off and on in different seasons and there is a desolate, starkness that is enchanting about this place.

I've always been someone that appreciates the aesthetics of a place. Beauty in nature inspires me and calms me. But place is so much more than natural beauty.

Place is about the community of people and friendships that you gain...the give and take of vulnerability.

I've lived a lot of places in the last several years, and often my heart aches for a particular place. It used to be England. I fought to get back there and walk the cobblestone streets and read in the Starbucks that was housed in a 500 year old building. Thankfully, that desperation to return to England has subsided and I've been able to store those memories in a file of my mind that doesn't  cause so much pain.

I know God has directed my journey so far. Yes, it may not be linear and I know a lot of people are curious of why I can't stay in one place for very long.

But each place holds a space in my heart, and there is a certain sense of grief associated with each move.

There is also regret. Regret about not appreciating the beauty that each place held. Regret about not investing enough in the community. Regret about not relishing in the quiet moments.

But what if I could remember without regret? Each place I've lived taught me more about God and the universe and myself. What if I just left it at that instead and let go of the berating for not staying long enough. What if this letting go led to a freedom to live fully where I am in this moment?

I want to live right now with wonder and intention at the seemingly mundane around me. Right now there is everyday grace sprinkled right in front of me.

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