In the Distance
Do you ever feel like the person you’re supposed to be is close by, within reach yet just beyond your fingertips, somewhere in the distance just ahead of you? I’m not talking about the perfect-in-every-detail woman I often wish I was, and often judge myself by. I’m talking about those deep, fundamental things that make us who we really are. The Jennifer Harrison I’m meant to become, or perhaps, the Jennifer Harrison I’ve always been but who still needs uncovering?
The past couple of months have held beautiful experiences for me. Beautiful on their own, but more significant because they play off one another to instruct me in deeply personal ways. This week marks the first week in a while that I’m not scrambling to wrap up from one event/trip while catching up at home and simultaneously preparing to leave again for a few days.
I find myself thinking about the year so far, my heart full and grateful for so many things – especially people. And while I revel in sinking back into daily life at home with my family, I also find myself sifting and sorting and trying to identify how I’m different for having lived the past 8 weeks. It would be a shame to end up just the same when so many little moments were engineered to make me new, better than before. Closer to that girl in the distance. I’m not sure I’ll ever catch her; progression is part of the great plan of life; but she feels closer to me lately, more authentic. I don’t want to lose that feeling in all the laundry and homework and carpools I’m jumping back into.
What do you do to stay changed? How do you keep life’s beautiful experiences close by so you don’t forget them and lose ground? How do you preserve them before the everyday runs right over them, distorting their shape and shine? I am working to write them down. I also added a photo to my study spot, and this morning wrote a to-do list of all the terribly important (but now not urgent) things I must do while it’s still fresh, or at least somewhat so. And I’m praying about the process.
I snapped the photo of Mt. Rainier with my phone while on a quick walk around Gig Harbor, WA in January. Having served in Washington as a missionary 20 years ago, I know full well what a gift it was to have a beautiful, clear, sunny day in January with a clear view of that mountain. Although the image is poor in quality, when I see it, the jump-for-joy clenching feeling in my heart returns and I re-live that moment of receiving a gift that was intensely personal even if I shared it with everyone else on a stroll around the harbor that day.
I guess the girl I mean to be is a lot like my favorite mountain. Sometimes clear and bright and looming, sometimes smaller and floating above the clouds, sometimes faint, and sometimes shrouded in clouds. Yet there, always there. Occasionally it’s so big, so beautiful, so close it seems I can reach out and touch it.