04 August 2016
The (un) Ordinary: A Tale
Calm and still. The air is heavy and dense. Last reflections of a day glitter on the lake's surface.
A traveller stands on the dock, ready to turn and begin a journey. She gathers her light load of a leather backpack filled with sustenance for several days, slings it over her shoulders, and takes her first steps of the great journey to discover new land. There is rumour of an undiscovered country nearby, a mere two day walk away. Always seeking the new and beautiful, so as to discover the hidden treasures that God lays out before us, she is ready for a new discovery.
The journey begins with sidewalks and people, but slowly grows more grassy and quiet. The people have departed, and it is up to directional skills to navigate now. Cutting across fields of tall grasses, thankful for a dry day, she inches northward, toward the undiscovered land that awaits. Groves and lines of planted fields surround her for a while. Her heart is thrilled at the thought of a new place to explore. The sky is open and wide, filled to the brim with puffy white clouds that almost touch the earth on the horizon. A place that she hasn't ever seen awaits. It's not that she despises her former place, but she longs for a place that is new to her, for all has become dull and void of deeper meaning.
After the first day, she is walking with a solid, steady step as the clouds overhead build, turning silvery and dense, and then dark grey. She approaches another landscape with a few hills and little shelter, mostly scrubs and some scattered trees laden with moss. The rain begins as she is about halfway across this land. A farm is in the distance, but the fencing seems to circle away from her. This is God's country. Her footsteps soon become muddy and her line of sight is cut off by the heavy rain. She considers stopping to let the storm pass, since she feels somewhat disoriented, but decides to keep going, albeit rather slowly.
The storm passes a few hours later, and she can see the land ahead of her again. She trudges onward toward the unknown....
She has kept track of the time and the distance, and she calculates that she should be breaking upon the new country very shortly. The land ahead flattens out and her weariness is great but the excitement persists as she nears the place. She feels in her bones this is a place calling to her. Like home.
A bend in the landscape draws her closer to a scene almost familiar, but lovely in her rejuvenated eyes. It feels like home already, she thinks. She passes through tall grasses and takes a short break to munch on the last of her food, then she begins to inch toward that which is left to discover. Groves line her peripheral and she wonders how it can all seem so similar to her own land.
Then, she sees it. The lake glistening in the late afternoon golden light. Captivated, she draws near and notices that this land isn't only familiar, it is her original starting place! She was so drawn to it, she was seeking to discover that which she already knew, but oh how it glistened! The everyday feature was her journey's destination. She looked at the scene before her as if she was a foreigner. She had never noticed the ducks that waddled toward the water before. Or the water grasses, reaching up skyward and brushing the side of the dock. Her feet were tired but her thoughts jumped alive. She sat cross-legged on the dock and took out her journal, writing down all that she was noticing from her journey, her adventure, and the scene around her. Writing out all the tiny details she realized that her lack of attention two days ago caused her to miss the beauty of what she saw daily.
Sometimes what we seek so hard to find is actually right beneath our feet. Sometimes while we dream of a land outside our own, we miss the beauty that rests with us. Sometimes we choose to take a step out that really leads to taking a step back in.
Sometimes, the shortest way home is the longest way around.