I have been filling out the questionnaire for my 20th high school class reunion. The question that actually made me think the most was "where have you lived since graduation?", and the answer was: Idaho, Utah (for college), California (for an 18 month Spanish Speaking Mission for my Church), Ohio (My family moved there while I was serving my mission) , Utah (again), Idaho(again), Ohio (again!).
Even with all of my notes, it is hard to compress all of the memories invoked by those words. Utah (again) was moving for my brand-new husband's new job. Idaho (again) was finding a job for him to enable us to live with my Grandma, so she could stay in her house and maintain her independence for a few more years. Ohio (again), was moving to be near our families, especially for the last few precious months at the end of my Mom's life.
There were a lot of friends and experiences compressed into those words. The births of three children, and the loss of another. The deaths of many people I loved dearly. The miracle of watching my children grow and learn.
The next question was "What is the most interesting place that you have traveled to?" The answer is "England and Wales", but that doesn't explain that my beloved brother and his awesome wife provided me with the resolution of a lifelong dream. How will I ever be able to adequately thank them for an experience that simultaneously checked off a biggie on my "bucket list" (which has only ever had 5 items on it!) AND simultaneously changed my life in a fundamental way?
LOTS of pondering.
And it also got me thinking about how beautiful all of the places I have lived are. But--they are very different types of beauty. If I had expected the green, leafy beauty that surrounds me in Ohio (where I can't plant my garden because it keeps raining on the days I am home!) while I lived in Idaho, I would have been disappointed every day.
And, if I had expected the huge 5000 acre fields of waving wheat that surrounded me in Idaho while I lived in Utah, I would still be waiting.
Now, in Ohio, I occasionally get wistful for huge bright blue skies, and mountains, but I have to remember how important it is to be able to recognize the beauty that you have around you for what it is--without expecting it to be anything else.
In other miracles, my funny, adorable nephew is completely fascinated by octopus. Which, is a tiny bit difficult since he lives thousands of miles from the ocean. But, thanks to the miracle of YouTube, he has showed us some pretty amazing miracles! We live in exciting times where we can see such awesome stuff, so easily!