"Feels like home to me,
feels like home to me,
Feels like I'm on my way back
where I come from."
As I drove down through the pass Wednesday afternoon my heart began beating faster. Soon I would round the bend and spread before me would be the most exquisite place on earth, the Arkansas Valley.
I have let the canyon spill me out into this moment... where the Collegiate Peaks lay against the backdrop of a cloudless Colorado sky... hundreds of times. I know what to expect and still my heart catches and tears burst from my eyes - without hesitation. I am home.
Hwy 285 from Evergreen to Buena Vista is like a long driveway leading to the doorstep of my birthplace…the home of my heart. It is where I gave (and continue to give) birth, to the best in me. I am the most like who I want to be when I am in this valley. Gratefully, with years, I am learning to take the valley back with me, when life and school and office calls me to Boston or St. Louis or…wherever is not the Arkansas Valley.
The colors of the valley are the colors of my heart's childhood. The soft beige of prairie grasses, the sage-y greens of high country meadows, white billowy clouds, the deep greens of pinion and lodgepole pines, the soft robin's egg blue of a cloudless Colorado morning, the deep denim of the Arkansas river, and the slate grey of an afternoon storm inking the sky from west to east...punctuated by flashes of lightning along the ridge above Turle Rocks. These are the colors I dream in…these are the colors I clothe myself in throughout the year. These are the colors of my heart. My sister once said that if you were to cut me I would bleed in all the changing shades of prairie grass, a friend calls my eyecolor Twin Lakes blue.
This is the soft place my soul would land upon if it drifted down from a celestial heaven and was looking for its one true niche on earth.
My daughters are now accustomed to seeing me weep my way through Buena Vista, the small town that anchors the Valley and is the last stop before reaching camp. They think it's funny that their mommy stops "every single year" just before the large gate posts at the entrance to camp. They watch as I climb out of the jeep and walk reverently over the cattle guard to hug and kiss the posts, thanking God for "one more year" at home.
I am home today…
I will spend the next five weeks looking out at the world from the very place my heart sees out from all year long...no matter where I happen to be geographically. I am on the porch of Crowsnest. I am surrounded by teenagers, hummingbirds, water, horses, mountains, pines, and aspen. Wildflowers tumble out of large clay pots at my feet while I read the Bible lesson, and from rock-hemmed beds throughout camp. Pansies, columbine, indian paintbrush, sweet william, lobelia, delphinium and zinnias spill color along a canvas of green. Everywhere I look God is singing His love, reciting His poetry of beauty, sculpting His forms of strength and gentleness, painting His images of grace…I am at home.
"Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm all the way back
Where I belong."
with Love...from the porch of Crowsnest,