On Loss {Part Three}


{photo by @littlefixations via Instagram}

…And isn’t that how life seems to go? Life happens while we’re living it, and before we know it, we’re traipsing through Wyoming to mourn losses of family members we haven’t yet mourned, and bawling ugly tears as we take our vehicle off “cruise control” to pull over to the road-side and observe the massive rocks, these things called mountains, jutting up into the crystal blue sky that is somehow, almost cloudlessly, spitting pellets of rain down onto the earth beneath it, down onto the windshield whose wipers are squeaky and haphazard, and we throw on our favorite floppy brown hat and set down the camera to just breathe instead of capture.


And there we are.

C.S. Lewis says it so well when he reminds us that nothing seems awry or even changing in the day-to-day until we look back, and everything, including ourselves, is completely different.

On the trek, as I rested amongst friend’s kind parents and didn’t fight them for the dinner bill, but instead just learned to receive their gift gracefully, I realized I’ve changed. As I got on my hands and knees in the mud to coerce two Golden Retrievers into letting me onto their {very well-protected} land to photograph the beautiful mountains as I sprinkled leftover popcorn on the ground as a decoy, I realized I’ve changed. As I sat in the most quaint little bakery in Missoula, Montana with an old-soul friend and his lovely wife, a woman who I’ve admired and read about from afar for a while, not trying to control the conversation, but just letting it organically become what it needed to, I realized I’ve changed.

The changes are resounding, yet small, and I’m learning I’m okay with being both “girly” and rough & rugged all at the same time. I’m okay with disagreeing with people on huge and small topics alike, and stating my valid opinion in strength and peace. I’m okay with my thighs, even though I remember them looking better. And I’m okay with not having all of the answers or closure in certain relationships that have fizzled-out over the years.

So I cannot tell you what will come from this trip. I cannot say what promises will be fulfilled or what milestones will be accomplished. All I know are the ones that already have, the ones that remind me God is for me and not against me, how He writes the very best stories, the true tales He allows us to have a subplot in, with real opinions and lasting impressions, because when He was done making us, He said we were masterpieces, and He called us GOOD. 

And so for all of these reasons and more, I’ll always take the road less-traveled, the longer road around the biggest lake with road-construction that slows everything down, allowing time for crisp thoughts and robust dreams to come to life, the road that leads me to huckleberry ice cream and glacier-fed water falls and antique stores in old, red barns, the road that screams “pick me.”

Petal to the metal, I’ll go.

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