Sunday, February 26, 2012

When the Sky Transforms

There is something magical about the early hours of morning when the sky shifts from darkness to light. After seemingly endless hours of darkness, the sun awakes from it's slumber and begins to creep up over the horizon, bringing light, warmth and life to the world and forcing darkness into hiding. During this brief moment in time, the sky is a beautiful explosion of color. Red, pink, and orange stain the sky as a gift for enduring the cold, dark hours of the night and offer a sign of hope for the sun lit hours to come. Everything begins to change after that moment; the stillness of the air begins to stir, birds begin to chirp, the frost begins to thaw and plump beads of dew begin to drip slowly off of the foilage and plop onto the soil. An instant ago the world was a lifeless and confusing place, now life and beauty have been restored to the world.

The sky shifts again in the evening. As the sun sinks behind the horizon, it says farwell by painting the canvas of the sky with deep shades of purple, orange and blue, leaving beams of light shining out through the clouds as a reminder of all the good moments that occurred during the day. Life begins to slow down and a chill in the air develops and tickles any exposed skin as the last traces of sun beams slowly retreat into darkness. In that instant, there is a feeling of peace and contentment for the day that has just drawn to a close.

Life is cyclical. Every period of darkness is followed by a period of light in the same way that periods of light will always be replaced by periods of darkness. For those who understand the cycle, life is filled with just the right mixture of light and darkness to prod us towards taking the path of self discovery. In darkness there is no light to guide us, so we are forced to look internally to highten our other senses and limit blindless scrambling. When the light returns, a new perspective on life and ourselves and a desire to soke in all the warmth and beauty of the day lit hours will have developed. Although both darkness and light are important to self discovery, the most beautiful moments in life are when the sky transforms. These moments are easily missed if time isn't taken to see them, but it is so important to take the time to embrace these wow moments. Those sudden, short lived bursts of color make life so much sweeter.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


“No, life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath... We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?" -Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts

Everyone has to leave the place they grew up. The place that was home for so long can only provide the nutrients to support so much growth before the resources are used up, growth stops, and the spirit dries up. For some people that day comes quicker than for others, but in the end, everyone has to leave to develop themself.

Leaving is a rebirthing process. It's a chance to break free from the image people have created and to create themselves. Each new experience creates the individual and staying in the same location limits the amount of experiences a person can have, therefore limiting the development and depth an individual can attain. The repetetivness of having the same experiences over and over again dulls the sences. Changing the scenery forces life to be experienced in a whole new way, sharpening the feelings of joy or beauty experienced.

Staying in the same place provides a one sided perspective of the world. There is only so much of the world that is visible from home. To get an expanded picture, leaving has to occur. Leaving home turns ideas of the outside world into reality by revealing how things really are rather than how they are imagined to be. False perceptions of the world are then shattered and replaced with real knowledge.

Roots will always be in the place that a person grew up, and home will always be there to come back to, but to grow, change, and shine out, new places have to be discovered. The hardest part is making that first move of getting up and going. There are so many options and sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to pick which path to take. The thing to remember is that taking an unintended path will always take the follower to the place that they intended to be. In some weird and unexpected way, things will always work out, it's just a matter of taking that first step and leaving.