Originally posted Jan. 16, 2013, at Be. Breathe. Believe. Republished with permission of the author.
“Home, they say, is where your dreams live. And despite my doubts about the journey I have begun, I know that, for me, there is no better name for this country that has enchanted me for so long. Tonight, with glaciated granite underfoot and stars overhead, I am home.” — “Paddle Whispers”
This passage speaks of home — specifically, it is describing my home, the great North Woods of Minnesota. Yet, as I’ve read these words over and over these past few days, these words not only remind me of where I have come from, but also where I have been, and more so than anything, where I am, right now.
It is January. A new year. I am truly in the midst of a dream that I have dreamed for all of my young adult life: living an ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission year. Listening, learning, living, daring to jump in, build relationships, and pursue my love for and passion for this vast, complicated world that we are all a part of. Sometimes, throughout the course of my life here in Beit Jala, I find that days are simply just life: ordinary, routine, normal. And sometimes I find myself feeling guilty about that — as though I must not be doing enough, as though I’m not living up to this dream that I have dreamed for so long. Yet there is such beauty in ordinary life, in simple joys, in familiar rhythms.
This adventure, this journey looks far different than what I had dreamed of for so long. Throughout the past months, there have been moments of questions and uncertainty mixed in with the awe, wonder and beauty that have filled my days. But here, in this place, is where my dreams dwell; I didn’t know that I needed this place, these people, and this pace of life prior to arriving here. I had no idea that this place would get under my skin and into my heart in such an intimate and beautiful way, more than I could have ever imagined.
Here is the place that my dreams fill and become my life. Days filled with questions, conversations, quiet moments and new friendships are more valuable than words can begin to articulate. Though there is so much mystery and mystique to this place, so much I do not know, so much I will never fully understand, this place has enchanted me, captivated my heart and my mind in a way that no other place has ever done before.
Surrounded by the living stones that speak stories and breathe life into this holy and broken land, with the same stars that shine in the North Woods of Minnesota overhead, casting light over loved ones near and far, and over all the homes that have captured my heart and provided space to rest, question-ask, and be; here in this place and in this moment, I am home.
Find a link to Laura Mills’ blog Be. Breathe. Believe. at Lutheran Blogs.