For the last year I’ve been trying to understand my mother in a deeper way. I’m confused by so much, even my inability to see things for what they were. I don’t have a lot to help unlock the mysteries, so I hold tightly to the things I do have that represent her life and tell her stories: the photo albums and scrapbooks, an interview I did with her in 1976 for a college class, and the recipes.
You don’t have to have a sidewalk to take a walk. One side of the street will do. A dirt road will do. The edges of your neighbors’ lawns might do, depending on the lawns and the neighbors. But those have other purposes. A sidewalk is a zone between where we live or work or shop and where we move in vehicles. It is made for walking.
People were made for walking, too.
Out of belief comes life and all its attending stories. I have, over the last ten years deliberately chosen to keep some of these stories quieter or even private. Other than a few interviews and the occasional post here and there, I’ve required of myself what I’ve so often hoped for from others — a little reserve, maybe even silence. And so, on the topics of God, People, and Place — interdependent topics I’m very passionate about — I had gone mostly quiet.
There were many strata to the debris on the car floor, but the base level was dirt. This dirt originated from various locations — from the Little League diamond (my brothers), soccer fields (whole family, at the boys’ insistence), and hiking trails (the whole family, at my father’s insistence). Even though soccer felt like a chore to me, there was something I appreciated about the relational politics of the game. Like new seating arrangements, new teams aligned our loyalties in random configurations. There would be at least one athletic kid on both sides, one “delicate flower” — a third of the way into the game, she’d need comforting — and one parent.
Infertility is a story of unrequited love. But God wrote that story. A parent who deeply desires a relationship with His children? Yeah. He gets that. He loves us. He desires to place all of His love squarely upon our heads. He is waiting for us to awaken to the truth, for us to take our first spiritual breath.