There we sat, with our one way tickets, waiting to board the plane. The wall of windows in the terminal framed a stunning view of the mountains. My mountains. That bald, generally brown, towering range that had served to give me my bearings all through my childhood and youth. On this day they had a few blankets of green thrown on them and a squirt of white on their high peaks. And on this day, they showed off through an amazingly clear February sky. Startlingly clear.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. These old familiar friends were now serving as the opening paragraph in this new chapter of my story. If they could speak they would be saying, “This is where you come from”.
The time had come to board the plane to where I am now going. My husband, who I’ve always teased for being a heavy-footed, bull-in-a china shop kind of guy, was ever-so-gently-kindly-tenderly leading me toward the plane. The gate faced away from my bald mountains.
As we began to take off the tears came (once again). I looked out the window and our ascent was directed west. This kept me on the side of the plane that was traveling along side my due-north mountains. The valley where I’d left my parents was spread out below me at the foot of those dear mountains. Again, I was struck by a view seemingly void of any pollution. There was nothing to obstruct my view of where it is I come from.
The plane made the expected u-turn and now heading east I could see all the peaks and valleys, lakes and trails. And I twisted my head and body to look out behind the plane toward the far off valley where we had raised our own little family; our home of 24 years. I was treated to a panorama of the glistening Pacific. Again with no obstruction. And a sob escaped.
I’ve noticed over the months that have led up to this move that I’ve gone back to appreciating the gift that is California. The gift it has been to live my entire life here. My youth in one valley and my adult years in two other valleys west of there. I’ve also noticed that in the number of years this state has been in a drought my appreciation for this gift has experienced a drought. My drought was not a product of my state’s drought. It was a product of my own restlessness. A desire for something different with an accompanying waning of love for my state.
But as the window on the plane took me over my mountains and then presented the desert, the desert also spoke to me of my childhood and youth, and I whispered, “I love you California”. Thank you God, for placing me in this part of your world. What a privilege.
While the flight continued to what my husband and I, and many well-wishing friends and family, have named our “Adventure”, the Holy Spirit allowed me to mourn the cost of this adventure.
And He reminded me that everything of value has a cost. But nothing is lost. Nothing is lost.