The words came fast today. My heart was full, so I am posting a day earlier than usual. Forgive any errors or encumbrances in the words; they tumbled out, one over another, too quickly to carefully craft. My soul had much to say.
The sun has returned. After the steady rain of the past few days, this morning dawned bright and clear. I walked into the kitchen at 6:20 am, marveling at the light already spilling through the shades on our doors and window. It was as if the world was already radiant in the knowledge that the sun would come up today in all its glory. And so it did.
After doing a laundry load of cloth diapers and cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast, I took my geometry manual outside to the porch swing to plan for the class I teach. A cool breeze was blowing, and the birds were singing all around me. Peaceful in their pen, the alpacas leisurely grazed and ate their hay, while crows swooped over them, loudly discussing their morning business.
Swinging gently on the porch swing, I quietly took in all the loveliness before me. Living in the Virginia countryside delights my soul. The country is home. I remember as a child always feeling so gloriously fulfilled when we went to my grandmother’s farm in Pennsylvania. Shoes came off as I ran up and down the hills and meadows. I always ended up in the milking parlor, boot-clad, aproned, soothing the ladies as they swayed in their stalls. I explored the fields, gathering wildflowers, wading in the ice-cold creek that came down from the mountains. I sat on the porch swing under the tall black walnut tree, reading or simply gazing through the leafy trees to the mountains. The aroma of the farm filled the air. It was peace, joy, fulfillment. It was home.
Now, newly-wed, mother to a darling little girl, I have been back in the country this past year-and-a-half, though now in Virginia. The two-lane highway in front of the house still has trucks going by, just like the farm, and there are horses and cows across the road. At night I hear the peeping frogs and the lowing cows. The farm fragrance still permeates the air. And I still see mountains through the leafy trees.
Our little home in the country has brought such joy. Washing dishes in view of the mountains is bliss. I love coming home to the smell of the barn, and opening the window in the kitchen brings in such pure, fresh air each day. It has been a dream come true to make our home here.
Now, though, our thoughts turn to the home we will soon inhabit. Come August, we will pack up our belongings and move to the big City Up North, where there won’t be cows or mountains or farm smell. Instead, there will be lots of people. Homes squashed together, wall to wall, and busy streets. Trees will be few and far between in our neighborhood, and I hope for birdsong—just maybe.
After all the fulfillment of this country home, how will my soul stay in the City? Physically, yes, I will live and work in our household and be a mother and wife in this new home. But sometimes I wonder how my heart will stay well when its soul-roots are steeped in farm air and mountain sight.
Then, amidst the little seedlings of fear, I remember God’s promises. He led His people out of bondage and through the wilderness. He made the bitter waters sweet. And He sent bread from heaven. He brings the weary rest, and He brings peace and joy to the heavy-laden. His promises are true in the country and in the City. He is Emmanuel. God with us. He will come with us to the City and will bring my soul rest.
And so, on this sunny morning, I savor my view from the porch swing. The sun bathes the grass in front of me with radiance, and the birds sing in choral majesty. These moments are precious, and I drink in their sweetness. I will miss them in the City, but the cloud and the pillar go before us. Christ will be with us. Christ is in the City. And He is my Shepherd who will lead me beside still waters and restore my soul.