I could barely control my excitement as I sat on the plane. Realization of longings to be near those I love, to feel the fulfillment that they bring – it was so close. The thousands of miles I traveled over the days comprising the journey was made shorter and more delightful by the anticipation of joys to come.
My family awaited me at the airport. The familiar burden of the clinging weight of my nieces and nephews hanging off of me almost immediately returned me to a feeling of normalcy. I felt my heart beating with an old, deeply soothing rhythm of pleasure and wondered at the sudden return of its song. Perhaps its pulse had missed beats here and there since I had been gone, and I hadn’t really noticed until the sudden restoration. Whatever it was, it was good, and right, and pleasant.
Conversations were again simple. “Will you be here until Christmas?” “Can you hold me?” “Did you see any lizards?” “How big were the lizards?” The important things were just small things. And I was glad for the feather-light weight of them.
They have, however, begun to have a significant interest in finding me a husband. Even in the airport my oldest niece was picking out men, suggesting which ones looked like nice ones. She has apparently determinedly been searching on my behalf. There have been some issues though, as she doesn’t consider age or marital status in her assessment. My nephew is the only one with significant insight and clarity on the issue. He says that he hopes that I only meet grumpy, old men, since that way I can just live with their family forever (or at least until he’s 20, he says).
The pleasures have been deep. Deep enough to swim in. And they have been shallow. Shallow enough to miss if not attuned. I’ve sat around the dinner table, passing bowls of home cooked food to the hands of those who share branches in my family tree. I’ve picked handfuls of blueberries off of the bushes out back of the house, remembering when we planted those little sprigs that now are high above me. I’ve tasted the freedom that comes from being able to get in the car and drive (something that I have greatly missed), to feel the wind blowing in the windows as I sing Motown off-key at the top of my lungs. I’ve had four children’s bodies strewn all over my bed, clinging to my words as I read them the stories of Narnia. I’ve seen glimmers in the eyes of old friends. I’ve given long awaited, strong hugs, filled with gratitude and love, to those who have prayed with me and for me.
What comes next, I do not know. But I am thankful for this season now of simplicity and restoration. Of seeing small things as great things. And enjoying Him through winding foothills of life in Travelers Rest. Like a promise, it resonates with me. Rest for the weary traveler. Rest in Him.