…And in the ear of every anarchist that sleeps but doesn’t dream
we must sing, we must sing, we must sing…
-Conor Oberst/ Bright Eyes, At the Bottom of Everything
(this one courtesy of the best camera and Adam)
My vacation was supposed to be about snowboarding (and reconnecting with friends). Instead it was about connecting with friends (and a little bit of snowboarding and snowshoeing and city exploring). And I wouldn’t have it any other way. First of all, I reconnected with these cats:
I hadn’t seen them in a few years, and after seeing Stace in the spring at a photography event, a visit seemed in order. Learning to snowboard has been on my list of goals for the past few years, and they live in the mountains, so the trip was multi-faceted. I could say a lot of things about Stace and her hubby Chad, but the bottom line is this: they know how to be with people, how to invest in people, how to see people and how to love well. They are relational rock stars. I brought my buddy Adam along for the trip, and last night he said he hoped they never change in the way they do life.
I quite agree.
They love each other. They live creatively. They know God. And they hold taut the tension created by hope in a world that is, well, messy. I need people like Chad and Stace in my life, because they remind me that it is possible to live a crazy good outside-the-box story-that-is-a-journey. They remind me of this without sidestepping the harder parts of reality. This does not make circumstances inconsequential. They live faith that allows joy regardless of circumstance. So we laugh. A lot. And we talk and dream. This is how it has always been. Chad and Stace have believed in me and talked me off ledges and watched me come and go. When I am in their home, I do not doubt I am loved.
I hope they know how much I love them too.
Here is something else about Chad and Stace: I am (get to be!) Auntie Erin to their two little rock stars.
They are night and day, a sensitive older brother and his exuberant sidekick. One is drawing me pictures to hang on my wall while the other is scheming a plan to sell his art projects on etsy. I have known these boys since they were born and loved them from the moment their tiny frames rested in my arms. Seeing them at seven and five blew me out of the water, because here are two little boys full of beauty and wonder and life. They so reflect their mom and dad. And they are stinky, silly world-changers-in-process.
Taking a new friend along to visit old ones always feels a little risky to me, because I live aware that I am off the charts blessed with incredible people in my life, and if you are going to meet them, you better get it. I think Adam got it, and we (who have a laundry list of things to create and do) created some incredible memories alongside of and within my heart getting refueled by the mountains and city and the Choms and God…
If this is the way 2010 has begun, I can only anticipate. Home, for me, has always been about people rather than place. And my family makes Texas home for sure, but Home also boom-a-rangs among those who color my life and remind me that there is a way to live that is something like this:
May this be the way it is always, a life aware of the kindness of God that is the people He’s put in my life. When I lose perspective, they spin me back to believing all that is good and right in the world time and again. I find my feet firmly planted and at home. Here (and there).
I hope this is true for you, too.
(P.S. Thank you Chad and Stace and Jadyn and Caleb and Adam for giving me the past couple of weeks. They were exactly what I needed.)