I don’t think I had quite enough heart-rending during Lent, because I seem to be getting quite a bit of it now. You’re watching my heart break a little bit more, my heart break a little bit more, my heart break a little bit more – and I know why: to show me just how much only He can fill it.
So many visitors! Ashley, Jennifer, and Regina were here from the 25th to the 27th; Rachel showed up on the 2nd; Ryan got here on Friday night and left today. Each greeting was surreal; each goodbye hurt too much.
I only had time to give Rachel a hug – we were slammed in the kitchen – but I got to spend two-and-a-half days with the other girls. We did so much! White peach sangrias at Applebee’s (because with Northern Michigan being the way that it is, no place more interesting was serving food at the hour that we went to get it), breakfast at Sam’s Graces, a whole day of fudge and hiking and Arch Rock and SUN and sending postcards and Liturgy of the Hours on Mackinac Island, Legs, Mass, the Stained Cup, two wine tastings, two beer tastings, CHOCOLATE, infused balsamic and olive oil tastings, Adoration, Chandler’s, and tons of chit-chat… It was the first two off days that I’ve had since getting here that I’ve actually relaxed and not felt as if I was trying to catch up on something or another.
They left the morning of the 28th, and I sat in my car, asking Mama Mary how on earth I was going to make it through the day. She responded so quickly that I cried; there was a letter waiting in the office. Four full pages of brotherly love and confidence and encouragement from Marty got me through that work day, and through the week, until Rachel made her appearance in the cafe.
We were so busy that I didn’t have any time to say anything of substance, but I hope Rachel knows how much good her greeting did me. Hugs are truly miraculous things.
I spent the Fourth in Boyne, and I was debating going back to Harbor for the barbecue that night, but I confess, I rather needed the mothering I got from Mother Lisa and Mimi, and ended up getting home at around 12:30. It was what they call a “Q” day: a Quintessential Northern Michigan day, absolutely perfect in every way weather-wise, and company-wise, for that matter. And of course, the star of the show is always the etouffee.
When I did get home that night – morning – two strangely familiar silhouettes were seated on the stumps in front of the fire pit, the embers just barely glowing. There wasn’t enough moon to see faces, but hearing Alise and Ryan’s voices does wonders for the soul; no exaggeration, especially on this farm. We jammed all the classics at the bonfire the following night, at the top of the vineyard, with fireworks: Cry, Fire & Rain, Falling Slowly, Only Hope, and Someday We’ll Know – twice, of course. And then we suddenly felt prompted to bust out the worship music =) God is so good. After everyone had long gone to bed, the three of us sat in my room, chit-chatting over snacks and books and DVDs, none of which we actually watched, but we did whip out selections from Tears & Laughter, The Prophet, Confessions, How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk, Molecular Gastronomy, Celebrate with Chocolate, and we read Compline and the Office. It’s terribly nice to just breathe the Psalms and wonder at the Love and Beauty that they articulate. Last night, we watched Robin Hood upstairs, and got breakfast at Roast & Toast this morning.
I had to run errands after we got back, and Ryan and I said our goodbyes before I left. When I got back this afternoon, his tent and car were gone, and everything inside’s hurting again the way that it did after watching Ashley and Jennifer and Regina drive off. I’m so grateful that Alise and I got to spend as much time with Ryan as we did, just the three of us, talking about marriage and authentic masculinity and femininity and the genuineness of people or lack thereof and vocations and children and God and condiments and all things that truly matter. We’ve determined that the approximate halfway point between the three of us is Chicago, and we’ve decided that breakfast-and-then-some reunions need to happen yearly. =) Who knows if it will actually come true, especially with Alise being a newlywed… but hey, it’s a goal – and a prayer – not a plan, so we’ll just have to see.
… in the silence, you’re the first one that i turn to, you’re the first voice that i turn to in the absence of my own, is an enemy among us…
Michigan Bookshelf: Status – Completed
Title: The Prophet
Author: Kahlil Gibran
Title: Tears & Laughter
Author: Kahlil Gibran