We washed, packed and loaded over a full week ago, the girl and I. A week ago Sunday, we traveled the first stretch of road. We drove from Augusta to my parents home in Bainbridge. We hugged necks and visited. We slept and enjoyed. And then we traveled on. We spent three full glorious days at St. Andrews State Park in the panhandle of Florida. It rained upon us. h.a.r.d. But, we enjoyed. We enjoyed bike rides, hiking and snorkeling. Joy was stuck by sea urchins. I was struck by the beauty of the sand, sea and sky. We hardly sat still. We slept hard and sweated much. We spent our short nights in a tent and our long days in the sun. It was absolutely lovely.
We headed back to my parents where we spent a day catching up. We arrived sun-kissed with shoes full of sand and wearing a scent not far from yesterday’s bait fish. We washed laundry and talked. We laughed. I took an afternoon nap in the yard swing and actually enjoyed the warmth. We took a pontoon boat ride. My daddy even let Joy man the wheel. We dined at Jack Wingate’s Restaurant. We simply enjoyed.
Then we headed out on another excursion. Friday morn, Joy and I went to Wakulla Springs. I grew up less than an hour and a half from the springs, but I only remember visiting once – as an adult. But, our trip was splendid. We swam, picnicked and explored above and below the stunningly clear and shockingly chilly waters. We took advantage of the riverboat tour and spied Manatee, Anhinga, Moorhead and Ibis. Our time was exhilarating.
We left Wakulla as the sun was setting … after lifeguards asked us to clear the water.
Yes, we enjoyed until we were asked to leave.
Then … we headed north to Cairo for a Saturday filled with an entire day of pool time. Jeff, naturally, prepared us a wonderful dinner and talk was long, deep and fluid. I don’t believe I even made it to my bed until sometime after two o’clock that night.
After a full, rich Saturday, we surprised my parents by showing up at the church doorstep Sunday morning. With delicious meals, boat rides and talk time, we spent Monday and Tuesday enjoying parents …
Frankly, I’m not ready to go home …
to the “real world” ….
to leave vacation, exploration and fellowship …
but it is time.
After not one single night of good, solid, sleep that went from my “normal” bedtime until nearly sun-up,
I am ready to sleep in my own bed.
I’ve slept outside listening to the drone of cicada, torrential storms and blustery wind.
I’ve spent time restless from excitement and tossed and turned from a cold that is trying to catch me.
As we ready to pack, there are two thoughts that stand out strikingly in my mind:
I have thoroughly enjoyed the constant motion of limb and mind.
My cup runneth over with sweet memories of time spent with friends.
I have memories to cherish of sightings of animals I have not seen,
of topics that had not been covered and
friendships renewed and deepened.
But, I do not have memories of my God.
Oh, I called upon His name while my sweet van would run and then sputter.
And I sang His praises at church.
I spoke of His glories now and again.
And I asked His presence upon my Father and a friend
who are both dealing with cancer.
But, I was so busy that I didn’t hear any Spiritual/Physical parallels.
I wasn’t shown some new truth.
I didn’t hear a new story.
And I wonder …
was it because I was so busy
… so “not still” …
that I just didn’t …
couldn’t hear His voice?
And like any friend, time away makes you appreciate the friendship so much more.
Surely, HE was not the one who became busy … distracted …
I miss Him.
And so, tomorrow morn, Joy and I will load up. We will drive away with a van burdened by
a tent, two bikes, a Coleman lantern, sleeping bags, snorkel gear, ice chests,
suitcases, cameras, computer, books, shells, rocks, sand and memories…
and we will head home
where life will once again become routine.
We will go to bed before nine,
we shall live indoors more than out
and I will search for Him
and He will be found.
I long to be home.