Hello, dear readers! This week has been a whirlwind of returning to school after fall break. Now, in a quiet moment on a Friday morning, I long to share my memories from this past weekend in the Georgia mountains with you.
During fall break, I expected to stay in Davidson to catch up on sleep, do homework, and explore the land here. To my great surprise, my dear friend and hallmate Isabel invited me to join her family and go to their mountain house in Northern Georgia. This experience was a geographic first for me: I have never been to the “deep South,” which just added another element of adventure to our trip.
Isabel and her family welcomed me into their home and mountainous adventures with loving kindness. I loved being with a family again – listening to siblings tell stories and tease each other, praying before meals together, and coming together to stargaze upon the clear night sky (I have never seen as many stars as I did last Saturday night!). We told jokes, four-wheeled through deep forest paths, jumped in the stream, and created prayerful art. I felt so torn to leave behind the majestic peace of that place, that I felt lost when I returned to Davidson.
Then, last night, sitting in the chapel with two hundred other students in worship, this poem came to me. I hope it reflects the love that I found in the mountains with five beautiful people.
Mirrors reveal what the mountains have known all along.
All along your forehead wrinkles and skin creases
unleashes a hidden secret.
Your hidden divinity.
Aligned with the moons, and the stars, you are –
You are a single constellation in the infinite
When the light within you cannot be contained,
we name you beauty.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
For the One who gave birth to the mountains
also set eyes upon your chest
and breathed your first breath.
Your skin has been woven with the promise of holding you close
it never lets go
so look within and search for what you know
breaks you from your own heart
what rips you from your ripening
and takes you from grace.
Surrender your hindrance and trust that place
where all is embraced.
In the place where mountains reach sky and
sea cascades through rocky shores, and
stars circle the continents.
Where your soul unfolds
and you enfold touching space.
Women women, men, and children,
hold your hand and feel its warmth from within.
This is the tenderness of intimacy
that weaves veins with skin cells and
lets you touch me.
Love is here.
Hear me now, you are loved and embraced in this place,
in this Body of God to which you belong.
Seek no more, sweet child,
and come home
to your mountain place.
Finally, I cannot publish without saying – HAPPY HAPPY birthday to the beautiful Isabel Anne! May this weekend bring her and her family great joy in celebration of her life.