Sleepy Hollow

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Gift of New Eyes

The farmer's field behind our house that we pretend is ours
It has taken me some time to learn to love the unique beauty of West Tennessee's Delta Plains.  Not too long ago, I would be struck for a deep longing to return to the gentle slopes and heavily rural area of Murray, Ky.  I was used to being within walking distance of wooded parks, reserves, and just a few minutes away from LBL.  I was used to being able to walk among tree covered streets and feel relatively safe.   Then I moved to Jackson.  One of the biggest statistics floating around about Jackson at the time was that Jackson was the fifth most violent city per capita in the nation.  Not exactly a place that a country girl of 18 would feel safe to explore alone.  I like many people who attend Union felt a little trapped by "the bubble" and one of the biggest areas I felt trapped was the disconnection I felt from the land.  Let me explain, .when I lived in Murray and I would need to be alone, I would drive to LBL (much to the chagriane of my mother), find a random access road, and then hike sometimes on a trail, sometimes not.  What's so funny about this longing was just across the street from Union, in some land rumored to be owned by Union, was a wild field, with developed trees, and a little pond.  I would walk by that forest daily and completely ignore it's possibilities because I didn't have the eyes to see it.  I was so homesick that I didn't see it until God gave me the eyes to see it.
   Once I was gifted with eyes, I could walk with quiet step to the waist high grass, push briars back, and sit quietly at the small pond.  In the middle of Jackson, there was a refuge for me.  I began to remember that when I realized that I had viewed my neighborhood in a similiar way.  I love my home, but my neighborhood has a cookie cutter feel to it.  The mailboxes are all identical due to a home owner's agreement.  They have the same size yard, the same size house, and the same fences.  It is so nice, but it's not exactly wild.  Or so I thought until God gave me new eyes: Isaiah and Eli.  All the sudden my blah backyard has become a wild jungle, and the field behind us, only appreciated as eye candy before is a place of adventure and exploration.
   It started when my husband, hiked home from work one day, coming in excited, he told me that there were paths cut by four wheeler's in the fields behind me.  We could walk to a pond, to a little woods, and through puddles.  I don't have to drive 45 minutes to hike (which is something I always felt compelled to do) I can find a wilderness in my backyard.  Tuesday after naps, we decided to appreciate the January day by going to the mud pile of Romie, past the jungle of trivet, and to the marsh lands along side the woods.  There is a slight element of fear that the long forgetful farmer will demand we leave his land that he left to the wild, but in a way that makes it more fun.  As I watch Isaiah jump from "mountain to mountain," Eli look for the grasshoppers and squish the clay soil in his hands, and have to pull my shoes out of the bog I realize that for 6 years this wilderness was behind me and I never had the eyes to see it.  I never had the curiosity to explore it and now that I can see what a wonderland.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wonder what other blessings I've closed my eyes to.  I wonder what other ways my grumbling spirit has kept me from joy.

1 comment: