By: Jana Greene
I love camping.
And by ‘camping,’ I mean staying in an air-conditioned cabin in the woods that has gas logs in the fireplace, and a hot tub on the back porch that faces a little creek.
It is My Beloved and I’s 10th wedding anniversary, so we decided to retreat to one of our favorite places in the world – a tiny little cabin in the woods with lots of creature comforts.
There are creature comforts at home, of course. We also have a ton of standard-fare life issues at home. We all do. We have bills, home and car repairs, kids, grandkids, doctor appointments, three high maintenance cats, and routines.
Routines can harken comfort. They can also become a distraction.
This week with my husband is a re-boot from all the distraction. We can be us, and focus on who we are to each other. We can be reminded that not everything is falling, as so often seems the case these days.
The new normal seems to be trying to keep up with the new normal. Things change and morph and so do we.
In these North Carolina mountains, Autumn is amping up before our eyes. I swear the leaves have gone plum technicolor in the mere two days we have been here so far. It’s exciting to watch the reds and yellows. The purples and oranges. It looks like the whole world is on fire with vibrancy, getting ready for the big crescendo! But even as the trees explode in living color, other leaves are falling, littering the wet ground with dull, brown peat.
It has to happen when winter comes. The trees must become bare, lest there be no spring buds gestating in the seemingly frozen branches. Things must fall so that things can spring up anew. And things must spring up anew so that the trees can be full again and, in turn, become technicolor with the reds and yellows, the purples and oranges.
What could have me feeling so cornball about this crazy life, and waxing poetic about autumn leaves?
Nature. Nature does it to me every time.
For a girl who loves her a/c and hot tubs, I do so adore nature.
My beloved and I needed badly to get away to the smoky, rolling hills of North Carolina and reflect on the best – and most challenging – 10 years of our lives. There were times when we weren’t sure we’d come out alive – blending a family of three teenage girls, dealing with debilitating health issues, living out “for richer or for poorer.”
But we come out alive and even manage to thrive, because the same Creator who orchestrates the seasons also orchestrates our marriage. We insisted that He did so, right out of the gate.
So, I’m writing this blog post from a little cabin in the woods. There are still issues waiting for us when we go back home, but right now, the gas logs in the fireplace are roaring, I am sipping sparkly apple cider, and My Beloved sits next to me leisurely reading a James Patterson novel. We are an old married couple now.
I LOVE it.
I love disconnecting from the routines, even if for a few days.
I love this man whom with I am celebrating ten years of wedded bliss. I love that we are so predictable that we finish each other’s sentences.
Nature reminds me that everything about God’s creation has a purpose and an inevitable rebirth. Nature has a way of refreshing the weary spirit.
It reminds me why people name their children after flowers.
As I listen to the ripple of the creek down below, I am reminded why there are hymns written about deer panting after water.
It reminds me that paying bills can be usurped by paying attention to the glory of an Autumn forest.
It reminds me that earth has a smell and that leaf litter is preferable to kitty litter.
It reminds me that the drudgery of life can be put in its proper place with a strategic plan for a second honeymoon away from it all.
It reminds me that things fall, but there is purpose in the falling.
And as my husband absently reaches for my hand as we sit on the front porch swing together saying nothing but communicating everything, I’m so grateful.
God bless us, every one.