Turning Points

Tonight my adventure ended right where my new one has begun, Waco. I took a trip last week to catch up with old friends in the Hill Country, both in Austin and in Burnet. Magnificent trip, really! Wading in Barton Springs! Paddling a boat in Lake Buchanan! Tonight I took a drive down Highway 29, and was reminded of how I once knew it so well, spotting the places I'd pull over to watch the stars and what was once a coffee shop that made me feel at ease. After I hit 35, the sunset in the West guided me back home.

I wrote a journal entry there that I have decided to share with you. Enjoy.

I'm in Burnet. My expectations were wrong and now I'm paying the price. I'm sad. I wanted to see what was the same and go to my favorite places as if all of my memories are still tucked within them rather than hidden in me. I should have braced myself for what's different, what's changed. But I didn't do that. So now I'm sad that Kiri's (a coffee shop) is gone. The man from the Knife store was out front as I walked up so happily with my books in one hand and he shook his head at me as I stuck out my bottom lip, the prospect of walking back into one my homes completely and utterly terminated. "For lease" was written in loopy cursive on the glass storefront. The man said it had been closed since January. Regretfully, now I am just caught in nostalgia about the hours spent there and the open mic nights that truly blessed me. 

The Riverwalk still makes me happy though. It is just as peaceful as I left it. Green grass, a breeze through the leaves of these huge, old trees, the sound of the fountains of water, and the golden glints of sunlight hitting the ripples of water in the creek. (Here's where I must have forgotten my treasured descriptive words!) Tonight a movie will be shown here and the town will fill the lawn with blankets, children, and popcorn.

It turns out that a lot of my girls didn't fare so well after I left. It was both disappointing and not surprising. 

I wonder if I have too quickly gotten tied down. Yet, I love what I'm tied down to, and it is my heart that is bound, the most voluntary thing, which means that I want to be tied to that which my heart clings. I just want to accomplish at least part of that for which I have the potential. It often seems like there aren't enough lifetimes for what I want to see, accomplish, do, and live.

People ask me "Why Waco?" But a year ago they asked "Why Michigan?" Three years ago it was "Why Burnet?" and four years ago "Why DBU?" but in every experience I've undergone remarkable growth, been happy with  my choices, and enjoyed my life. Everywhere, people have fascinated me and I've loved hearing their stories and getting involved in their lives and communities. I haven't ever felt geographically out of the will of God. He leads me ever to green pastures, not to glamourous ones.  

Today I sat down and chatted with two of the most important and charming people I met in my Burnet adventure. Alisha is now the age I was when I moved there. It isn't like I needed recognition but I asked her how she would like to move to a small town where she hardly knew anyone. She just laughed and shook her head and said she had been thinking about that, too. Now she can finally understand what I did and come close to thinking about how it felt, striking out on my own at 19. She asked me, "Were you scared?" 

I thought about it for a few moments, trying to put myself back in that place in my heart and mind. "No. Not really," I said. "I was a little nervous, but I was more scared of what would happen to me if I didn't go. I knew it was what God wanted, so I didn't want to go out side of that. Plus, how could I miss such a great adventure?"

As it was then, may it now be.

1 comment:

clark said...

Why Roswell? Well, there's beauty and fulfillment to be find anywhere--even just for a time. You and I both know this.