"Some part of that island grew in us, like our hearts, still wild, untamed, and still clinging desperately to an unapologetic innocence."

be warned, i usually mull these entries over more before i publish them, but here goes....

today, like many days, i find myself longing for something a little strange, and perhaps a little silly.

there is this part of my heart, buried way deep down inside, that is just burning with love. a love for the past. its a silly cycle that i fall into on occasion. i enjoy reeling through the thousands of memories. of days that were just right. of places that were more beautiful than i could ever imagine. of people, of friendships, that i held so dear. call me reminiscent, and you'd probably be right, but its almost more than that. its a longing for a season of life that was so, so good.

like the time my friend matt and i sat at the top of a mountain, completely stunned by it's power and beauty. i can't tell you another time i've felt God in quite that way. or the weekends of my childhood, when all the marina kids would gather in the parking lot for massive games of kick-the-can and street hockey until we could no longer see in the dim parking-lot lights. or the time cara and i went running in colorado. we ran, and ran, and ran, and ran. and when we were done, collapsed in complete exhaustion on the early morning dew. or the time when ali and i took the horses to the back pasture, and let them truly run, and gunner ran so fast i could feel my heartbeat line up with the pounding of his hooves against the soft earth. or the time rachael and i ran through an icy parking lot laughing so hard that i truly though we would never stop. and the perfect summers, all eighteen of them. waking up late, and sailing out to the beach. laying on the warm sand, and letting the sun turn my skin to bronze. or the times last summer when we played ultimate frisbee in the field with glow bracelets to see each other in the dark. and when we were done, the coolness of the summer night set in, like a cool breath of relief from God. or the times in ludington, when we didn't have a care in the world, but how early we could get to the beach. when we basked in the glow of one another's company, just pleased to be in the presence of friends we cared so dearly for. or how about the summers when we walked for hours across the manitous. and how during those walks, dad bestowed his wisdom on us through the telling of stories we had heard a thousand times. but we listened anyway. and we loved it. and we grew to know that island like the back of our hands. and perhaps we loved it so much because some part of that island grew in us, like our hearts, still wild, untamed, and still clinging desperately to an unapologetic innocence.

those people. those places. those feelings. i carry them with me, and perhaps that is why i continually find it so hard to move past them. to understand in my heart, that i can never live them again. that although they were good and were precious moments in the expanse of time. i will never regain them. i get so frustrated. sometimes i feel as though i will never be that happy, that in awe, in wonder, at peace, passionate, in love ever again. and the truth is, i won't. i will never feel that way again because i cannot regain or recreate a moment so destined by God. so perfect in every format possible. those moments were for then. they were perfect because of who i was and who i was becoming. and now. they might not fit so perfect, like trying to make two puzzle pieces fit in my desperation, that i know, simply will not fit.

and its a cruel reality to wake up to. that things won't be the same. they won't ever be the same. but that doesn't mean i'm settling. i'm not settling for a half-life, but one different than i imagined. and its not filled with the places, people, and things that i once thought it ought to. its a life overflowing with brilliant, vivacious color. its a life filled with friendships more deep and meaningful than i ever thought possible. its a life filled with the beauty of a sleepy mid-west coastal town. a town i tried so desperately to run from. its a life more full of questions, affirmation, and possibilities than i ever thought possible.

and it terrifies me to step into it. to step into this life, this day, this moment, knowing full well that it will be very unlike anything i have ever experienced before. it will be scary and daunting. and i will often feel as though i'm teetering on the edge of a very high cliff. it will be full of people unlike any i have ever known. and they will challenge me. they will force me to grow. we will share memories and feelings and times and places. we will chase after God together. and some of them will let me down. and i will let them down. i will fail them when they need me most. i will fall so desperately short of the friendship they give in return. but. oh, there will be the rare occasion when i will rise. i will in God's strength be there. i will say the right thing, at the right time. and somehow fulfill that small part of God's calling for my life.

and when i visit those places i won't feel the same things because they've changed, and in many ways, so have i. that doesn't mean the the things i feel, the places i go, or the people i share them with will be less real, less important, or less meaningful. no, if anything, they will mean different things. i will cherish the late night talks more. i will be at peace in the strangest places. i will breathe deeper. i will rest harder. and i will love with more compassion.

the future is not better, but its not worse either. its different. different in a way so unmistakably beautiful it catches the breath in my lungs. and for a second, i put those times back into their small place in my heart, and i get on with life. i get busy stepping into this life i'm called to live. i step into the brilliant, vibrant life set before me, knowing it's the only one i've been given. it's the only one i've been called to, its all my own, designed just for me. so i throw it over my shoulders, like a coat, worn by time and good use. i carry it, because it fits. it reminds me of where i went. where i am. and where i'm going. and its comforting to carry with me. to know that those memories, unrecoverable, are still with me, guiding me towards a tomorrow filled even more so with love, passion, and beauty.

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