All of my life, I’ve loved trees. Trees are like my soul-animal. Soul-plant? Soul-mate? You get the picture. Anyway, it’s always been about the trees. When I was a little girl, I lived in the desert; when I grew up, I moved to a different desert, but I always longed for lush green glory all around me. I felt like maybe trees and me weren’t meant to be.
I guess I was wrong.
Sometimes, a girl’s gotta pray about something and desire it for what feels like an eternity before it becomes reality.
When I was 17, right after I graduated high school, my father and I went on a cross-country road trip from small-town Nevada to Cedar Point (a theme park) in Ohio. I remember three things from that trip: being scared to death while driving through the fog, my father and I hating one another by the end of the trip (totally normal after being in the car with someone you’re not very close with for 5 days), and I remember the trees near the end of the trip. I came back to the desert saying, “I want to move to Ohio or Indiana one of these days. It’s so green there.” People laughed, told me I didn’t know what a “real winter” was like and that I would die, and they crushed my dreams (a recurring theme in my life).
15 years later, I live in the Chicago suburbs and suddenly, I’m here. I’m in the trees. I get to live in the place where a young, immature girl fantasized about running away to and starting a new life amid the forest.
My family moved here in time to see the trees lose their leaves and rest for the winter. Now, the bare branches and brown landscape have flushed with spring foliage, the shades of green are without number, and even the air smells green: fresh cut grass, wet leaves, the forest covered in dew. The land is alive, and I feel like I’m seeing the earth wake up after a long hibernation for the first time in my life. When I walk out my door, I’m smiling, even when the kids are fighting, I have too many things to get done and not enough time, or when I’m falling over tired but I have to keep going.
It’s amazing where God has carried me to at this point in my life. Sometimes I doubt, sometimes I hate that things aren’t exactly what I had planned for myself (show God your plans…), and sometimes I’m so tired of the way things are in my extended family, my head, my country, and my household.
I’m tired. Aren’t we all sometimes? Exhausted beyond belief at our ineptness, our lack of control, our situation? Today, I’m letting that go. Today, I’m reminiscing on a desire of my heart that took 15 years to be fulfilled.
Isn’t life amazing?