Saturday, June 22, 2013

an adventurous life


“An adventurous life does not necessarily mean climbing mountains, swimming with sharks or jumping off cliffs. It means risking yourself by leaving a little piece of you behind in all those you meet along the way.”                                                                                                                            - unknown

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The longer I live and the more I travel (though I can't say I have much of either one behind me yet), the more intensely aware I am of the temporal nature of life. Friends change in both appearance and personality as the blade of time carves away at them; sometimes, they walk away altogether and leave a gap behind. Circumstances shift with the paradoxically erratic regularity of seashells at the mercy of the tides. Even places, which seem so static, take on subtle new attributes or lose dear old ones as society around and within them is altered—or, perhaps, as my own experiences reshape my perspectives.

Changes like these both excite me and sadden me. With every beginning, I know I have to brace myself for a goodbye. With every new place I experience, I know that I will leave part of myself there in the end. I can love an inexhaustible number of places at any one time, but I can only be in one of them; I will forever have a loneliness and longing for somewhere, and I will forever be fighting the evanescence of those memories.

My world is much bigger now than it was twelve months ago. It stretches from coast to coast, from the northwest extreme of the continental United States all the way to the southeastern corner. It zigzags up to Pennsylvania and back. It even reaches to the other side of the world. Now, I can hear a snippet of the song “Kiss Me Slowly” and be walking down the snowy December road in Goldendale; yet when “Rhythm of Love” comes up on my iPod, it takes me to the downtown Sebring sidewalk that I used to walk or run nearly every single day. A sultry-hot sunrise, and I am in Melbourne again, just beginning my GCBI year; when the night is cool and breezy with clear, starry skies, it's a traditional Fourth of July at Sam’s parents’ house. Even the scent of coconut-lime perfume means Florida, while vanilla-sugar means Christmastime at home and coconut bodywash means summer in Pennsylvania. And then I barely even have to imagine the throaty sound of Hebrew being spoken, and instantly my surroundings transform into the light beige stones of Old City Jerusalem.

Whether I'm in Washington, Florida, Pennsylvania, or Israel, I can be taken somewhere else for a fleeting instant, and it reminds me that I am invested in more than one place—that a piece of my heart is buried under a mossy Florida oak somewhere, while another is tucked safely between the stones of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. That I love and am loved by a family far bigger than my biological one. I too am changing. I too am being carved by the blade of time, carefully wielded in the hand of God. Day by day He molds me and refines me. Pieces are trimmed off and left in the places I've been, a testimony to His continual work in my heart and life—wherever He takes me.


There are moments which mark your life. Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts: before this, and after this.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful words Hallie. I'm looking forward to when your travels bring you back to our corner of the world. :)



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