In the midst of running around from WalMart to Ikea to any thrift store I pass, I’ve had a lot of time to myself to replay the last few days before I left and the road trip out here.
I had a gorgeous going-away party at home last Friday night and hit the road by Saturday mid-day. The party was one of the most memorable evenings of my life. Thirty-two people there. The house was the prettiest it has ever looked, all due to over a decade of tireless work by my amazing and talented mother. I was so proud of her that night. She truly set a spectacular scene, and I can’t describe my joy at watching it fill up with so many of the people who matter most to me. I can still watch the whole evening like a film in my head, and it always seems to run in slow-motion. Dad said a beautiful welcome and pre-dinner prayer, and Ian was sort of the M.C. later in the evening. When did he learn to wear his grace so lightly? Ian amid a room full of people is truly a holy occurrence. He brings the very best of his selfhood (and there is much he has to bring) and offers it to all, those great and small and high and lowly. His excellent manners, like my father’s, showcase a balance between the cultivated habits of a gentleman and the genuine, unstoppable urges of a generous and compassionate heart. Ah, Jesus, you have made me so rich.
I still can’t really believe my luck that I got my dad to myself for the first four days of the drive out here. The goodbye to Mom and Ian was almost too much to bear, and the numbing sorrow lingered well into New Mexico. Two remarkable people stood in that driveway and waved goodbye to me, not to mention two incredible friends. I will need time to adequately describe everything at play in my moving out of the house and cannot do it justice now.
There was a poignant moment on the drive through the easternmost expanse of New Mexico. As Dad and I left Albuquerque, and enormous storm rolled in so violent I couldn’t see the road. I loved it. I relished in it. I loved the ferocity and volume and sudden darkness and danger. The storm passed, but as we continued on the I-40 through the desert, I could see it to the north. The flaxen plain met the cobalt darkness in a crisp, harsh, jagged line. Soon the sun began to set behind the blueness, shooting bars of light into the thick clouds, The yellows and blues, the light and dark, the dry and wet – it was explosive in my heart’s imagination.
How I longed to jump out of the car to find Sleipnir in full stride at the edge of the asphalt highway, pausing only long enough to let me mount, then thundering on eight beats into the thick of the electricity, the blue, the rush of the wind, the rain. I longed to feel the wild cold wetness of the storm slapping my cheeks and thighs, whipping through my hair and my dress, his mane. The I-40 was so straight and true and dry. I felt crushed as the storm grew dimmer and dimmer behind me. Oh Christ, to what am I trying to return? Toward what place do I ever travel?
I quest after you, Lord, and today place my hand in yours in the hope of exploring your wildness. Show me storms, Father.