Usually by August, I can feel the season tipping and see the light dipping on the edges of world. The seasons are different back east than they are in my beloved west. I try to remind myself they are different, not better… but it’s hard when I see photos of my family in Yosemite, where even drought-parched, bridal veil still falls and pillars of light pierce the clouds like God’s fingers.
In the east, rain falls in steady straight streams, leaving everything on the weathered ancient hills dense and green. I’ve never watered my yard here in Virginia, there is no need. The hotter the day, the more likely a downpour in the afternoon, and the sauna-like summer makes the plants lush and the flowers deliciously enormous. My heart and mind are at war over whether it’s okay to call the Shenandoahs mountains, when they appear as little more than foothills. Mountains… can be seen from the distance, and have snow all year long, the heart argues. The mind, ever swordlike, recalls the geologic map in a dusty class at Eastern where the Shenandoahs were weathered grandfathers when the Rockies were being fledged by the continental collision, and I sigh. Fine, they’re mountains.
I was hoping to make it out west this summer, but it just wasn’t possible. I held on, keeping my google alerts on flights until long after it was reasonable to buy tickets. I have a million things for which to be grateful, and other than a bit of personal sadness at missing some events with friends and family, I know I’m in a very good place, and I’m grateful.
Jon asked me the other day what I needed to be happy- He’s very concerned with my happiness, and it’s disarming that he cares so much. I’m still not used to it. I folded my book in my lap, and thought earnestly for a moment.
After a season upon season of uncertainty, upheaval and ridiculously hard work, I truly lack for nothing. The blessings are counted in private, within my heart, but the season has indeed tipped, and the mountains of my soul have weathered, the craggy peaks worn down just a enough, for now. The drought is over, and the tools of survival won’t serve as well this new season; it’s time to lay them down. I lack for nothing.
The challenge now is rising to the responsibility to cultivate this garden, which has been fed by the runoff and erosion of those hard, mountainous years, and to share the bounty that will grow in this rich, fertile soil. I don’t know what comes next, but I’m a quick study— I’ll learn. I’m not alone in the garden anymore. That’s everything.
I think that’s a pretty good answer.