Last night we talked about being small and running away. Finding tall pine trees in our native north and shimmying our way up to the nearest branch, then climbing, climbing, climbing until we were at the top of our tower of Babel, touching God and letting Him touch us. And then we'd climb down, forgive our strict parents their brief irrationality, and go home.
Late last night as I drove home I thought about not stopping, just driving, finding the lowest branch and clawing my way out of here. Away from the metroplex, the bubble, the place where I am known and where I do not feel known.
Instead, I called a friend and left a message.
"Call me," I said. That's all.
I unhatched my plan without hesitation, with or without her, but she agreed and so we threw swimsuits, tshirts, and spare change into our bags and we left Dallas at 11:32pm.
Rolled the windows down and left.
We found a hotel a few hours later, convinced the kind gentleman at the front desk to let us go swimming and then we slept hard and hardly.
We woke at 7am and the city was still. I couldn't help but feel like this was what people have meant for the past two years when they have said that I will love Austin, that Austin will feel like home. We read and journaled at a coffee shop, strung a hammock between two trees, talked, talked, sat, and just enjoyed one another and the Lord. And then we drove home.
My heaven will be a still one. A quiet one. The sort of place I can fly fish or enjoy Debussy (who I hope will be there). My heaven will be a place free of distractions, where the groaning of creation has stopped and we have come to a grand rest. It is still.
I am learning more than ever that I cannot run the race.
Everywhere around me people are running the race. The prettiest. The godliest. The best. The most. The biggest. The fullest. The busiest. And I find even the mention of running the race exhausts me. I toe the start line and already feel the defeat. I can not run it.
I crave stillness. I crave quiet. I crave even the groaning of creation over the groaning of concrete roads and the suburban sprawl. I want to shimmy up my tree, find a solid brand on which to stand and I want to touch God.
We're on our way home, less than 13 hours later, and I tell her that all I really want in life is to be like Enoch. Enoch who walked with God and was no more.
"Your heart, Lo," she says. "He loves that about you."
And I suppose He might love that about me. I suppose He might. The bible doesn't say that Enoch died, it just says He was no more, that God took him. I can't help but think that God in His goodness, just took Enoch home with him, plucked him from the race of life, and brought him home where he belonged.
I wouldn't mind being like Enoch.
[In any case, all of you were right, Austin did feel like home to me. Thank you.]