Darkness. Night. All-enveloping in a way that produces both fear… and peace.
Some of my most peaceful, happy moments have occurred while looking at stars. I think back to college and the trip to middle-of-nowhere Missouri and being shocked at how many stars you could see when there was little to no light pollution. Or of my two summers on staff at Youthfront Camp West – the occasional night watch, or evenings on the weekends talking to other staff and just enjoying the view from the field or the waterslide tower. I think of Youth Encounter trainings at Luther Dell – middle-of-nowhere Minnesota, and again being surprised and awed by the stars. And again, staying up late, under the stars talking about life. I remember moments in my overseas travels and being comforted that the friends and family that I was missing were still present as I looked at the stars, knowing that they would be seeing the same stars.
Most recently, the stars were brought to my attention at the reception of my brother’s wedding. Outdoors, beautiful weather, wonderful time with friends and family. While everybody was chatting and dancing after dinner, I went out to the porch. I looked up at the stars… and breathed. So much happening that weekend, and in my life, it was nice to see the stars and breathe and rest – even for a moment. Seeing the stars reminded me that as much as I enjoy parts of Houston, it cannot be my forever home because I miss the stars, the open spaces too much.
I’m unsure what draws me into deep, reflective spaces when I’m under a sky full of stars, but it seems to be.
Ready. Set. Go!
This is coming to you a day late, but, in my defense there was a dinner that I needed to go to on Friday and I ended up taking some people home from it so I didn’t get to my computer until almost 10pm – and that’s too late for me to consider (remember) a blog post.
And ready, set, go may be accurate for this photo as well. It’s from the end of a weekend conference that I was facilitating. One of my co-workers had done the planning, but there were too many events that weekend and they needed me to be the face/voice of our organization for the weekend. Ah!!!
So, I felt thrown into the weekend. And there were hiccups, for sure – like a kid drawing on the carpet of one room… or the elevators being down for most of the weekend…… But it was still such a great time. Parents were gracious with me and the hotel, the bands, speaker and volunteers were wonderful, the youth all seemed to have a good time and not be too loud.
At the end of the weekend, the volunteers were cleaning out our hospitality room…and for some reason there were hot dog buns leftover…but no hot-dogs. They graciously gave me the buns as my “trophy” for a successful weekend.
But honestly, the weekend filled me more than I felt like I did anything for anybody that weekend.
Photo sent in by – Sarah Kearney (feel free to comment, email a photo for a future post)
Writing the title of this made me think of the following song…. if you care to listen:
Over the last
week month or so the idea of story keeps running through my mind and life. How each person has a story, is living a story and our stories MATTER. Our stories intersect, intertwine, run into one another. As I’m in this period of transition, other’s stories grab my attention. Whether it’s a fellow Mission Year alum who is vlogging about transition or an old co-worker doing weekly blogs, friends sharing thoughts through music, phone calls, or poetry. These stories are touching something within me that I struggle to name.
And in all of this, there are levels – depths- to the stories shared. Sometimes a story takes me into the daily life of a friend overseas. A blog may discuss a current issue or Christianity. Spoken word may talk about climate change, racial injustice or the joys and pains of high school.
Unfortunately, amidst all the reading and listening I’ve been doing, I haven’t found my medium.
I haven’t found the way(s) to share my stories.
I haven’t found my voice.
There is more to be said. written. sung. rhymed. colored. It just can’t find its way out – clearly.
But, I’m not giving up. These stories will emerge.