Gypsies again…

Well, we’ve been home a whopping three and a half weeks and tomorrow, Joel and I are off again. But while I’ll be home the following Monday, he will be settling in permanently to Seattle Pacific University. Due to some long-storied and very deep inner workings of Spirit and thought, I have decided not to attend SPU and will be writing full time instead. (Much more on that later.) But it’s a long trip up there, so I’m driving with Joel and we’re going to visit friends in Portland, catch an amazing concert with Over the Rhine and attend the debut party for Jeffrey Overstreet’s new novel, Auralia’s Colors. So, it will be a sort of gala ending to our summer.

In news from the home front, we had our first official day of autumn. I always feel that the season has changed when we light the fire for the first time, which we did today owing to a misty and glorious chill. We’ve decked the house out with candles and bunches of leaves in rust and gold tucked in among autumn fruits so that you feel a sort of harvest glow wherever you look. I’ve been pounding away on the first chapter of my current novel, finished it this weekend in time to get the family’s critique so that I can get it in shape for it’s planned proposal in three weeks time.

We had our last feast tonight with Joel, it’s sort of traditional with us to mark comings and goings with some sort of family meal. Joel invariably requests steak, for which we braved the cold and grilled out on the deck, only to have the grill die halfway through. (No good celebration is complete without at least two or three amusing mishaps.) We managed indoors and ended up round a candlelit table in the dimly lit dining room, savoring steak and potatoes and fresh feta and nut salad on our last evening together. We’re a tied-at-the-hip sort of family, all in a good way of course, and as I watched our meal tonight, sat back in my soul and observed our traditions and conversations, I knew a full-blooded love for the world we have woven. We all of us come and go, we travel and study, argue and work and love, but we do it from the center of a world of which each of us is inextricably part. There is a rich heritage of traditions, of conversations; meals shared, joys shared, griefs born together. We can never escape that world. Joel may be leaving, but he goes as an extension of us, and I think that is how it should be.

But it’s that weaving that is in part prompting some of my decisions. I see a modern world so bereft of that inner circle of solid love and shared beauty. One of the things I never thought I would learn this past summer was how rare it is to find deep relationships, to forge meaningful friendships in the bustle of our time. I have been lonely for friends most of my life and I’m am not the only one. I see people all around me longing for love, longing for the surety of that inner circle of a world for which, I believe, God created us. And I begin to think that the creation of that sort of a circle and the opening of it to the lonely hearted and forgotten of the wide world is one of the most important things I can do. This is a generation of people longing for a home; a home spiritually, relationally, and yes, physically. I may be lonely for friends, but I do have my family. I long to be family to those who don’t even have that.

So you see, I’m beginning this year with some deep hearted thoughts. They will form into more coherent ideas soon, but that’s a smidgen for now. Meanwhile, I hope to say hello from the road; perhaps you’ll get a glimpse of the vast valleys and barren peaks of the northwest. We might even stop and hike Multnomah Falls if we have time. Happy autumn to you all!

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6 Comments

Filed under Musings

6 responses to “Gypsies again…

  1. Patty Yellis

    Oh my, I think you know how deeply your entry has hit me.
    I do thank you for sharing your insights. And I think I’ll reread your words once I’ve had a first digestion of them.
    in Christ,
    Patty

  2. My lovely niece,

    I love reading your thoughts and reading about your adventures. I have been a reader for a while (figured I’d finally say something!) and I find that, in your thoughts put into words, are very similar thoughts that I have had at times. Must be in the genetics (grinning!). I hope you will always be willing to share those thoughts “deep hearted thoughts.”

    Real, meaningfull friendships are extremely rare in our world today. The world is much smaller because of modern technology, but it is definitly a much more lonely place than just 100 years ago when people depended on neighbors and close friends much more for survival.

    I hope you can meander down this way in the next few months and just drag the rest of the family with you!

    Love ya!

    BTW, autumn IS my favorite time of the year!

  3. Looking back, the times of intense loneliness and homesickness I experienced during and after high school became some of my greatest sources of growth. They were incredibly hard, yet they worked to develop compassion in me for others. I realize that loneliness may again haunt me–if we ever move from this place of deep roots, or if my husband passes before I do, and while I don’t at all look forward to them, I know I’ve weathered them before and learned much in the midst. I’m looking forward to reading more of your plans for your ministry and future. . .

  4. “I have been lonely for friends most of my life …”

    Hi Sarah 🙂 These words struck me so! Would you care to elaborate, though I understand that you may not?
    As a young mother… homeschooling, a pastor’s wife – a pastor’s daughter… I understand that feeling quite well myself. It is my heart’s cry, though, that my children do not.
    Being led by the Father to a life that is very different in so many ways from almost everyone around us, I am counting on His further leading every single day to help me meet the needs of my children.
    I would appreciate hearing something more of your heart on this. If you would like to correspond by email, that would be lovely! Leave a note here or on my blog (below). Thank you for your time 🙂
    With love to you in Christ, Q

    http://thousayest.blogspot.com

  5. Sarah, your words touch my heart every time I read your musings. Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts and allowing them to bless us!

  6. Sarah,

    You’re a good friend. Even though we’ve hardly spent any time together, I already think of you as family.

    Anybody who experience what we experienced in downtown Seattle on Friday night sort of automatically become “family” anyway, right?

    It was good to see you, and I pray you’re having safe travels.

    Thank you so much for coming to my big book release party for “Auralia’s Colors.” I’ll always remember that you and Joel went out of your way to be there. That meant a lot to me.

    Write to us whenever the loneliness hits. I think that’s part of what led us to be writers in the first place, after all. And that’s a good thing.

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