De carros atiborrados y de saber qué es bueno para tí

¡Cómo quisiera tener las alas de una paloma y volar hasta encontrar reposo!  Me iría muy lejos de aquí; me quedaría a vivir en el desierto. Presuroso volaría a mi refugio, para librarme del viento borrascoso y de la tempestad. – Psalm 55:6-8 El lunes, el 8 de junio de 2015, yo atiborré mi carrito Sofía y empecé mi viaje. Estaba volviendo a Knoxville, mi ciudad de residencia, después de lo que ha empezado a sentir como un exilio de siete años. Hay tantas cosas de Texas (mayormente la gente profundamente amada… y canchas de maíz… y el Café 1418) que voy a extrañar; pero todo en mi interior clama a gritos que éste es mi Hogar, y que el tiempo ha llegado de estar aquí. Es probablamente una confirmación que he estado en Knoxville para alrededor de tres días, y todos los problemas de salud que he tenido para más de un año han desaparecido. Subí de peso unas 15 libras desde el enero, y ésta es una cosa buena. Para un rato, los números en la escala y el tamaño de mi ropa eran una obsesión. Entonces el año de mal-aventura trajo tanto estrés que perder peso resultó en ser simplemente una consecuencia natural. Sintió maravillosa alcanzar una meta que yo previamente había considerado imposible… y después sobrepasarla. Sin embargo, ése es cuando los problemas de salud empezaron. Sentía débil constantemente y no podía correr en mi manera normal. Las síntomas extrañas del Fenómeno Raynaud me asustaron: dedos extremamente blancos cuando tenía frío o estaba estresada. Ésta es una de las razones más importantes que supe que el suelo de Tennessee sería...

The Cardinal Second

I should have just waited. I should have been still. These thoughts have been playing on repeat in my head since the moment she flew away. Have you ever had an experience that held the intensity of a year of wonder punched into a one-second time span? I don’t think I knew it was possible. Most breathtaking moments last long enough for us to savor their birth, bloom, and death – if only it’s just enough time to notice and know. Some we must tear ourselves away from – a waterfall rushing triumphant down a mountain, the Milky Way dripping jeweled in a South Dakota sky – to get back in rhythm with our lives, while their timeless beauty continues suspended. I have no photograph for the moment of which I am speaking. I tried to take a picture of her, but the motion of my hand startled her away. It was a few weeks ago in my parents’ driveway. I had pulled up to their house after work for a visit and to take home more of my things they’d been graciously storing in their garage. The morning’s gentle rain had slowed to a drizzle, and the tall shrubs lining the driveway were bristling with water droplets. Then, a soft thud. A female cardinal had landed in the top-right corner of my windshield, apparently after a bug to eat. She looked young and round, and her drenched brown and light red feathers made her look slightly confused and disheveled. Instinctively, my hand reached for my iPhone, but not just because taking pictures of wildlife is the most thrilling kind of photography...

Throwback Thursday: Star-gazer (Age 15, 2002)

I thought this would go well with this week’s post about the Milky Way (Finding Mystery)! It was written during that time in my life when I was constantly stealing away to my parents’ back yard to lie enraptured under the stars. Enjoy!   Star-gazer Ashley Katherine Denning August 21, 2002 A Psalm Night falls, And my dreams awaken As each star appears And forms the detail of my thoughts. You come And meet me here While the quiet of the earth Surrounds me like harmony. There’s nothing between us but the sky. But what a veil With which You cover Your glory! Is this merely a taste? How can I lie beneath The splendor of the Heavens, And then realize I’ve only reached The threshold of Your majesty? But it’s a good start. I’ll hold my breath and wait for You to breathe. I’ll close my eyes and imagine what can be. I’ll open my heart and let You fill me once more, O Lover of my soul! Can we meet...

Finding Mystery

Last week, I wrote that this Road Trip Moon was putting me at the edge of my comfort zone. We have been on the road for 2 weeks and 2 days, and now I can say that brushing my teeth in a Walmart bathroom isn’t as uncomfortable as it seemed at first – especially now that I know how many traveling families stay in Walmart parking lots when they’re en route to their next destination. And sleeping in the Runner has actually been quite cozy! The other night I acquired a large teddy bear (Harold) that serves as a multi-use pillow and happiness generator.   Those blurry comfort-zone lines are still present, however. They just exist in my mind. Every now and then, we’ll be driving through expansive landscapes such as the ones in Montana – amber waves of grain, big sky capping it all like a deep bowl – and my brain will kick into productive planner mode. I’ve got to continue my job hunt! says my brain. I reach for my phone to look at my job-hunting apps, and… there’s no signal. So I’m forced to rest. I’m luckily forced to let it all go for a few more weeks and be open and empty, ready to be filled with the goodness of this great earth. You see, when you head out to places where cell phone signal can’t reach, you end up stumbling upon mystery. It happened one night as we were driving west through South Dakota. The stars were bright jewels beckoning, so we opened the sun roof to enjoy them rushing past. The Bear said, “Let...

Unsettled

This road trip is wonderfully unsettling. It is every bit at the edge of my comfort zone as I expected, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The stretching is causing me to open myself up to… be more unsettled. Unsettled is the perfect word because the growing of roots has been suspended. Flight is all I know. Somehow it breaks open my mind and makes me want to write to the unconventional rhythms spilling out. Therefore, I would like to offer a succession of thoughts that have strung themselves together in my mind: Photograph: My life feels like this broken-down lumber train. It’s been cleared of most of the things that filled it to the brim. But now it’s not weighed down by the business of life, and it lets the light through. It’s ready for a new destination, but not yet. For now, it will just be. Gentle wind and golden light are its delightful company. Song Lyrics: “In Exile” by Thrice I am an exile – a sojourner; A citizen of some other place. All I’ve seen is just a glimmer in a shadowy mirror, But I know one day I’ll see face to face. I am a nomad – a wanderer; I have nowhere to lay my head down. There’s no point in putting roots too deep when I’m moving on. I’m not settling for this unsettling town. My heart is filled with songs of forever – Of a city that endures, where all is made new.   Verses of Old: Genesis 35:1-3 – “God said to Jacob, ‘Arise, go up to Bethel and...