Sunday, August 17, 2008

the wilderness

I just got back from a trip with some old college friends to yosemite national park. We spent a few days camping and hiking up to half dome. it was glorious and physically strenuous (which I thrive on) and beautiful and restful (in the sense that we escaped responsibility) and just liberating. I love the outdoors and I love being in them for extended periods of time, especially in good company. A friend on the trip perked up his ears when I mentioned the idea of doing the John Muir trail...he's actually doing the entire Pacific Crest Trail beginning in April and I just might join him. 2650 miles from mexico to canada....about 5 months to finish.

here are my thoughts...on the one hand, heck yes. that sounds amazing and exhilarating and this is probably the last time in my life that i can as far as time and commitments go. I keep feeling the urge to get out of the country or move to a new city or work in an orphanage somewhere...maybe what i need is 5 months in the wild. and it would be a great last adventure before grad school gets for reals again for another 4-5 years.

on the other hand...5 months is a huge chunk of time. there are all sorts of logistical hesitations like $ and storage for all my crap i wish i didn't have but can't just toss/sell. and while it sounds exhilarating it also is something that seems like it'd just be for me. and i don't think i'd be happy doing something just for me. i don't think i need a big break before i start learning how i can best give again, because giving isn't exhausting to me, it's what makes me come alive. so i think i'd feel not just guilty but empty if i was camping for such a long time. i need to be investing in the lives of people who are in need.

sort of in the same way that new years resolutions irritate me. if you want to change something in your life, why do you wait until january 1st to do it. just do it. right now. I think i'm just antsy because i seem to have found a place/church/people/and potential education and career that i really love and am happy with and am experiencing God in...and i don't think I'm supposed to leave any of it. but i feel like after you finish school somewhere you're supposed to move on...but Long Beach feels relatively permanent...for now. :) anyways...maybe the pct...maybe just john muir...either way i love the wilderness and the solitude and perspective it gives me.

God's creation is SO good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the girls

i'm sitting in my room. my room that was perfectly clean 24 hours ago. now, i'm surrounded by clothes and beach towels and shoes and suitcases overflowing and the chair i'm sitting on is draped with someone elses jeans...and i love it. The girls are in town. Kristin and Morgan are staying here tonight, tomorrow we'll join chelsea and some other friends from college for a trip up to the top of Half Dome. I was on the beach today with the middle of my scribbling into a journal she asked what I was writing about..."you". I love these girls so much that I'm not at all surprised when plainly asked what I'm writing in a journal and not at all hesitant to answer in detail. When you have friendships like these you just don't have words to describe them, and I have no formula for how to make these kinds of relationships manifest themselves again. but i'm ridiculously grateful.

Friday, August 1, 2008

total strangers.

It's 11:45pm on a friday night, and I just came home from maybe one of the most beautiful human interactions I've had all week. I met Debbie and her children Ari and Hannah yesterday. We hit it off. It's been so long since I've felt so adored. That's the best word I have. Mutual affection...fondness, doesn't seem right...we all four just adored each other almost immediately. They invited me over for dinner and I gladly accepted. 3 hyperactive happy dogs welcomed me the minute I walked in the door with Ari, who had been pacing the lawn waiting for me before I got there. Dinner was beautiful. We celebrated the Sabbath together (they're Jewish), offered blessings (I listened...being that I don't speak Hebrew) and talked and laughed and told stories. Greg and Debbie are a beautiful couple who love each other so evidently. They have an incredible affection for their children...overwhelming hospitality...compelling thoughts about life and love and social justice...and just a wonderful home that put me so at ease. We even painted helicopters (the seed pods from trees that twirl) and kept the kids up way too late playing together. And I just met them yesterday. Not that I need ANY thing else to fill my schedule...but I'm eager to be a part of these people's lives. Babysitting these kids feels like a privilege. It makes me miss my family.

It's so great to know that good people exist in the world and that we have so much to learn from one another and to share in together.