Random Thoughts

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Playing Dress-up

As I was walking in to work today in my Mad Hatter costume, I thought, how nice is it that we can all get another chance once a year to play dress-up. I played dress-up a lot as a kid and then again when my brother and sister were little. Sometimes, my friends would come over and they would get in on it, too. I think Halloween, for lots of people, doesn't have to do with witch craft and trouble, but with a chance to be childlike for a day. It is completely acceptable to act ridiculous and blame it on Halloween. I am so blessed to be in a lab that actively participates every year in dressing up, even to the point of deciding on a group theme for the entire lab. It makes you smile and laugh and others who see you get a little enjoyment out of it, as well.

Some people have lost touch with this inner child, I believe. And that makes me really sad for them. I've been realizing that I am not growing up the older I get, at least not entirely, but I am growing younger and more childlike. And it's wonderful! I appreciate children so much for the way they see the world and the way their imaginations are so powerful. In some ways I missed my own childhood so I'm trying to hold on to those childlike qualities I find in myself. Luckily for me, Christ asked us to come to him as a child. With childlike faith that He can handle everything.

Days like this remind me of that. Dressing up reminds me of the imagination and pure belief that children have.

Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Mountains

I have never in my life been homesick. Not even my first day of college; not the first night I stayed by myself in my new apartment. Never. But, sometimes, and only in the fall, I get a longing to be home in Knoxville. To be within sight of the Smokies, to see the changing leaves and feel the cool air. Fall even smells better in the mountains.

My dad told me once that he could never live in Indiana (note: my step-mother grew up in Indiana and her parents lived there for a time after she and my father married). I asked him why, knowing that it probably didn't have anything to do with being away from me; he had no real reason to move. He said it was because the land was too flat, that he couldn't stand to be away from the mountains and hills of Tennessee. At the time, I was around 12 maybe, I didn't understand. I thought that was a silly reason to not want to live somewhere. But now I see. I understand. While you're there, you can take for granted the skyline filled with hills and mountains that you see from your back door every morning. You take for granted that the valleys will fill with fog and hold it until past noon when the sun finally can burn it away. The way the mountain tops turn purple and blue as the autumn sun goes down. And most beautiful are the leaves. One morning you get up, and you realize that God has painted the entire world around you with fire. And the wind may be cool, but everything looks so warm with the heat of those colors.

Every fall that I was at Furman, I would get excited to drive home one weekend and be surrounded by the changing leaves as I drove through the mountains to get from Greenville to Knoxville. And that is what fall came to mean to me: that drive through those leaves. And as I attempted to plan my life for this semester, I realized that I may not get that drive this year. Thanksgiving is the next time that I will be in Knoxville. I can only hope and pray that God lets the weather stay warm enough to push back the change of leaves until I can make it. I'll be in Greenville in a few weeks and maybe I'll see some color when I'm there, but it's not the same. I crave that long drive into my mountains.