Friday, October 30, 2009
Next Saturday, Erik and I will be playing a set at the "Be the Difference" benefit concert for Glen A. Wilson High School . There will be music all day long (11am to 4:30pm). We go on at 12:00 noon. Bring your friends!
Where? 1605-1695 S. Azusa Ave, Hacienda Heights
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I sometimes like the city. But I don't love it. I can appreciate the kind of life that dwells here. Homes filled with people and pets. Streets filled with much of the same and a little more. The pace can be exciting to me at times. Most times though it is too much for my senses.
Concrete and asphalt spreading out as far as the eye can see.
The barrage of billboards sending streams of advertisements for the stuff of our consumer culture…they are always shouting at me. And I hate that.
“Welcome home kids. Welcome back to reality. Now, here is a list of things you need to do and buy in order to be happy/healthy/successful/etc. Lucky for you, yours is a kind and generous culture. We’ll give you 20% off your next purchase if you run out your door RIGHT NOW!”
Is it sad that what I like most about a city has little if nothing to do with the city itself? I am breath-taken by the yellow trumpet tree that lives on the median on Allen St. just south of the 210 freeway. I wonder if people in their cars are moving too fast to notice it’s golden presence. I must have passed it a hundred times before I saw it. It seems so out of place.
Where are all the trees? Buildings and parking lots should seem out of place rather than trees. Why do we insist on replacing natural things with unnatural things?
We packed our little car with our camping gear earlier this month and hit the road for a couple of weeks to celebrate our two-year anniversary. It was a much needed get away from all of the above. It was a time to center ourselves and to take in the beauty of God’s creation. The grandeur of Yosemite provided a corrected perspective of things:
I am so very small…God has created such incredible beauty out of much tougher things than me. Why do I let myself forget that he is always loving and careful with his creation, including me? He carved and shaped this valley out of rock and ice. He brings the rains that fill the rushing rivers and the smallest creeks. He formed me in my mother’s womb. Amazing.
And that was the thought that continually came to me in some form or another as we slowly and happily traveled down the wild central California coast. Stopping at every other turn out to admire the view of the powerful waves crashing against the rocks. We were both filled with amazement by the natural beauty we experienced over the course of our trip.
Needless to say, it is difficult to come back to all of this noise. And there is so much of it. And if there is one thing that I have brought home with me from our last couple of weeks, it’s that everything that shouts over His still small voice is completely expendable.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Fall is finally here. I can see the change in the morning light. The air feels crisp and smells like trees and damp earth. I welcome her with open arms and sheer delight! Because with Fall the memories are so easy to reach. All of my senses take me back to the loveliest places...a family trip to Zion, hiking with Dad, trick-or-treating with friends, rainy days in elementary school, visits to Oak Glen with my Aunt Ellen, the smell of hot apple cider and cinnamon...
And more recent memories of love. The butterflies in my chest as I stood alone in that little room looking out through the lace curtains at my husband to be. The last of the wedding party slowly and carefully making their way down the uneven path. The golden late afternoon sunlight shining through the pretty twisted trees that shaded our guests.
And the music stops.
Here we go.
Holding my bouquet making sure that Dad's pocket watch was properly attached and displayed. I think he walked with me that day. I felt a certain comfort that only he could give me.
My Godfather knocks. "OK kid, this is it. You ready?"
"Yes. I am ready."
I placed my arm in his and we headed down the uneven pathway that led to Erik. Uncle Ron and I made a deal that if one of us fell then the other would fall down too to share in the moment. Lucky for us there was no need for such self sacrifice. Carefully we passed the musicians, friends, family, and some unfamiliar faces...but mostly familiar and loving faces. There were some people there who would end up getting their panties in a bunch because of where they were sitting or because I didn't get around to saying much to them at the reception. Ahhh...weddings. But for now they smiled as they should.
I don't remember who was out in the crowd. I think I only looked out there twice. My eyes were happy and fixed on my groom. The man who had suddenly showed up and awakened my heart only a year earlier. It was a summer night when we were talking in a parking lot in the bed of the El Camino and somewhere in the long hours of conversation I knew beyond a doubt that he was my "one".
As I stood there trying to be completely present...trying to absorb everything, the words of love and blessings from Father John and Pastor Jennifer, the image of Erik's beaming face into my memory, trying to feel everything...I thought, "You. You are giving your heart to me. And I am giving my heart to you. I knew you were out there somewhere! I could feel you."
I am so glad it was you.