(Many of these pictures were taken by other people)
Naomi and I with huckleberries The Sidney Psalter
I have been an adult for longer than I'd like to admit, and moved away from home years ago now, and there is much joy and fulfillment and strength God has given me in this community and town and house which I am part of now. But still fresh in me is the uncertainty and responsibility and loneliness, the lostness and the frustration that come with leaving home for the first time and having to figure things out for yourself in the wide, wide world. You are pulled two ways. You are pulled on by the past, the things that made you who you are, the people who know you best, the habits and friends that delight and comfort you. And you are tugged at by the future, by possibility, by promise, by the expectations of others, and by your own strengths and ambitions. Leaving home is simultaneously one of the best and worst things about growing up.
Silas and I explore a culvert Lydia and the CdA beach
clear blue Pend Orielle river
Perhaps that was a hard time, and perhaps every young person knows it - that in-between where home with your parents doesn't quite feel the same way it used to, but you haven't married and bought a house and settled in for the long haul of establishing your own home for the rest of your life there.
Natalie and I The Cove
Moscow Mountain cookout
Jonte and I only wish we were hobos drinks to celebrate our new place
Perhaps it is true that I'm still there, in that in-between. It feels that way now and then, no matter how satisfying my job is, how happy I am in my church family, how lovely my house and roommates, how delightful my weekends and evenings with books and good coffee shopes with live music and writing and beer with friends and long talks with sisters and all of the things that fill my life.
Elsi reading in the van Ben with Alyssa
Hailey and baby
NY Johnny's with friends late at night (Kristina, Kurt, me, Sara, Fraser, Mel, Susanna)
But I am here for now. I am building a home. And I am building who I am. I buy things for those purpose: tall lamps and old books and sweet-smelling candles and bright flowers to beautify and make useful my home, and food and clothing and more books and tuition for classes that fill my soul and body. And I hope to be building up another body, another household, with my presence and my hospitality and my gifts given to this community. This home becomes more home to me all the time.
Matt and Evelyn
Laura, Elsi and I
Snake River with Jonte, Emily and Ashley
Coeur d'Alene Lake
But one of the nicest things about not living where I was born, and about trying to accomplish this settling-in and home-making here, is being able to go home in more than one direction. For home to be not in one place means that I have bits of my heart in more than one place, and while that hurt when it first happened, it does less now. The longer we live, the more places we go, the more pieces our hearts become, and this isn't a bad thing. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, a wise man once rightly said. Where you invest your love, you invest your life, sang someone a little less important, but he was right as well. Love means investing, love means caring, love means missing what is loved when you are far away from it. Those places you have so many memories of that parts of you want to go back to sometimes so badly that you ache? That is love. Those faces you can visualize perfectly even though you haven't seen them since the beginning of the school year? Those are your investments. That place on top of the mountain where you sat and stared out at the dark of the world and the lights of mens' lives, and stared up at the dark of space and the lights of singing planets and stars, and you felt like you could stay in that moment for all time and be content? That is the glory of being a human with a soul.
Moving into our new house: Jonte, Mel, Tali and I
Ellis and Rachel's wedding
Abel, Seth and I
The more places I taste, the more people I shake hands and chat and eat and work and theologize and commiserate and laugh hysterically with, the more books that I open and decipher by means of ink and phonics and imagination, the more songs I discover -- the more I live, the more I love, and there is always - and constantly increasing - things tugging at me from different directions. This pull - back toward all the things I have a fondness or a sharp memory of, forward toward all the things I want to know and love and stash in me like so much treasure - is part of what makes me know I have a soul. The pull shows me I am creature.
outing with Ria before she moved
Mel's birthday. Riquel, Donny, Adam, Mel, me, Jonte, Zach, Cherie, Bridgette, Wilson, Bailey
Steptoe Butte with cameras and good cheer