I want to talk about something really awesome, though. I've found home. I mean, besides my home home. Let me explain. For the past couple of years, I've been bouncing from Seward, Nebraska to Chicago to Rockford to Blue Hill to Ashland to Lincoln, back to Seward, back to Blue Hill, to Hastings. In all of these places, I've found people and places that are...home. You want to know how I know (feel) this? It's the fact that I'm no longer mortified to be myself in all these places with so many different people that I have come (and have learned) to love. Working with kiddos of all ages all summer will do that to you. Of course, my "self" is constantly shaping itself, and it's bound to turn in on itself and hate itself and rearrange itself once again. But it's always going to be there, at home within myself. So much self. That's selfish, I know.
I had moments this summer in which I realized that all the places I've been have been the right places at the right time. Maybe I didn't do the "right" thing, but those places were set before me for some reason. Of course, finding a home doesn't always happen at 24. It might happen at 32, or 65, or 98. Or, I may just be a total nutcase about all of this. It's okay if I am. But, maybe you know what I'm talking about: when you learn to appreciate everything you've been through, even when it's been really shitty. Because, as the cliche goes, those things make you who you are today.
Due to a recent introduction to the Oh Hello's (thanks to that you-know-who-you-are person), who I wish I had said hello to sooner, I have had a little help in finding what they might call my old heart. I spent a lot of time in Western Nebraska this summer, at a little oasis in the sandhills called Sullivan Hills.
I thought it would be the worst thing to happen to me, but it's turned out to be one of the best. Okay, Lord, you're pretty sly. I won't give too many details. That would take days. But here's what I will do: I'm going to tell you a story via lines from my journal. Don't worry, it might be funny. It might even be awesome.
I want to be like Deb when I grow up, with a big heart, in the hills, working hard, a pioneer woman, at the ready for others all the time. First rattlesnake sighting. It sucks being the boss mom at camp. Sometimes, it's the best thing that's happened, though. That one time someone backed the tractor into the shop and clipped the door just as he said, "like a boss." I smell like campfire and cast iron, but I like it.
Later, we got some crappy sno-cones, stopped at the Gallery, talked about our love lives and the pizza place we want to start together someday. Boys were stupid, got to be stupid. Wouldn't want it any other way, most days. Praying for rest, health, excitement and efficiency in planning and organizing, peace in knowing that this union is founded in Christ our Savior. We wobbled. We chicken-danced. We duggied. We Macarena-ed. We cupid shuffled. We copperheaded. We slid electrically. Sloppy Joe style.
It involved strange corridors in hospitals and churches, a car accident, and city-slick parties. Just plain after him to no avail. Thank the Lord I always wake up to more realistic adventures. The farting noises woke me up. Maybe I really should just go for it, via the advice and support of my big brother. But, alas, we hit the road. Boys in the booger. Girls in the mother ship.
Saw him from afar, apron on, more that five cuppies of water in his hands. He lit up, if a man in such garb and so occupied could be capable of lighting up. Sunshine, people. Amazingly tired, but surprisingly chipper. The Keno Kove. I can't say enough how much I'll miss those bunkhouses. But, if there's anything I've learned this summer, it's how to move on, how to forgive, how to let things go, how to move forward. "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us then who are mature should take a view of such things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained." - Philippians 3:12-16 We'll have that moment forever, it's true. I'm thankful for one that's the bee's knees, the tops, where everything stops.
"I want to find a home and I want to share it with you."