“The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Wisdom of the Sands
Two memories playing in my head tonight when I ought to be sleeping… One: my friends at camp call me Blinn. And I love that. I worked there for a couple of years, and some people did not know my first name. That would never work here where I am surrounded by many Blinns.
Identity, though it seems to redefine itself from time to time, stabilizes when surrounded by love.
The second memory is this. Years ago, when my friends the Chomlacks first moved to Whistler, I went to visit them. Stace went to get coffees in the village, and it was raining. Her then-toddler Jadyn wanted to play on the playground in spite of the weather. The two of us zipped our coats and pulled our hoods over our heads. The drizzle quieted the would-be hub. Jadyn and I stood at the foot of the climbing gym. He looked at me, furrowing his brow. He looked around, the raised volume of his breathing communicating some unexplained frustration. He looked up at the emptiness where he determined children should be.
I know this because he shouted, “Hey kids, where are you?”
Then again, “Hey kids, where are you?”
Jadyn looked at me. Where were they? This was the place they were supposed to be. I tried to explain the weather, the cold… Dejected, Jadyn frowned. He was alone. We nursed our sorrows with hot chocolate. In reality, the kids hadn’t gone away. They were inside, drinking hot chocolate with their moms or playing legos with their little brothers or watching cartoons waiting for the rain to pass so they could go out and play.
Sometimes I feel like Jadyn in my story in the places where I can’t see God. It shakes my identity, feeling alone like that.