Rain

I love going for a walk after a rain storm. All the colors are vibrant. There are colors where I didn’t think there were colors and everything smells so wonderful. The rain seems to wash away an invisible blanket that has covered all the trees, grass, and dirt. Now the colors and smells are free and fresh. The birds are out; I’m sure enjoying the moment to stretch their wings and take baths in the remaining puddles.

I took a walk out in the park as the sun was going down. The breeze was brisk and fresh and the clouds were still so dark and threatening rain but they were off on the horizon ready to spread their joy on someone else. The sunset caused the mountains to glow and turn pink as if shy of their beauty that the rain had revealed. The cracks of the cement were dark and I had to avoid the puddles so as not to soak my shoes. Puddles are hard to avoid when a child or when driving. It is my joy to drive and splash through all the puddles that I can find. It presents an odd sort of thrill I guess.

As I walked I noticed moss on the trunk of some trees and worms that were venturing out on the street. There were some kids out playing soccer slipping and sliding on the wet grass. The sky was turning to a deep shade of blue. At the end of my walk I was reluctant to go indoors but the sun was nearly gone and the air was getting chillier. Now as I sit inside with a warm blanket and leftover biscuits from dinner I can watch the world go to bed through the window. The lamps in the park across the street have turned on, a safe guard to those who walk at night. The birds have quieted down sad to go to bed so soon after the storm had gone. It is still fading off in the distance. Perhaps another follows behind it where I can’t see. That is usually the case.

 

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Searching 2

Don’t you just hate that moment when you have been waiting for something exciting to happen and the moment arrives, your stomach gets all flighty and a smile spreads across your face and then the moment comes and goes. That exciting thing can still happen any moment but after a while you are done waiting. The excitement is gone. Now you just want the moment¬† to be over so you can move on to the next thing.

This was kind of how I felt sitting in the plane at the airport. I had reached my destination, I knew my family was waiting just inside and that’s enough to make anyone excited. But after a half hour of waiting to exit the plane the excitement dies away. I just sat there watching the snow drift past my window leaving a fine layer on the runway. It looked quite bleak out there compared to the beautiful spring weather I had left behind in New Jersey.

Then finally we were allowed to exit. I grabbed my carry on and followed a fellow returning missionary into the busy airport. I had no idea where to go. We both just walked the halls looking for signs of where we should go.

I was walking past some stairs going down when I saw a group of people below. I made a mental note of them but didn’t pay particular attention until I heard someone say my name.

It wasn’t the name I was used to hearing. I stopped in my tracks and stared down. There they were, my whole family minus a brother who was on his own mission. My youngest sister was the first to run forward. I hadn’t realized how shaky I was until she had me in her arms. It was tough work getting down those stairs with a carry on and being nervous and all. She kindly informed me that I sure was shaky. My eyes were so full of tears that everyone just looked fuzzy. I barely recognized them all, but that also could be because they were so much older than when I left.

I gave them all hugs, so happy to see them yet recognizing the awkwardness that comes from a long absence. I didn’t know what to say or do. It was weird. Then the group parted and my mom said, “look whose here.”

Two former missionaries who I had known in the Missionary Training Center appeared. They had come to New Jersey with me or me with them. We had been so close all the way through. I gave a cry and ran to give them both hugs.

“Sarah, this is Duke,” Annie, one of the former missionaries said pointing to a tall, brown-haired lad. I had remembered her letters about him after she got home. He gave me a hug hello and I wasn’t sure whether to freak out or not. I settled on letting him hug me and then I took a safe step backwards trying not to look as startled as I felt.

“We knew you were going to be wearing that outfit,” Kary laughed and I had to look down to remember what it was that I was wearing. Yep, orange button-up shirt with long brown skirt and thank heavens we weren’t supposed to wear high-heels. I had had no problem with that.

“They did said that was your favorite,” Mom said with a smile and I had to laugh, “well you were right!” It’s scary to know that they know you so well.

Annie, Duke, and Kary went on their way after we exchanged phone numbers and me and my family left the airport taking my baggage with us.

Because we don’t get to town very often other stops had to be made. As we shopped and stopped for a bite to eat and even as we drove home I wondered how one could go from serving, teaching, and studying full-time to a regular somebody in one day. All I could talk to them about was what happened the last two days which mostly involved the lesson with the McCasters and the crazy dinner we had with an older couple who had a malfunctioning whip cream dispenser. Funny story but you kind of had to be there.

But I didn’t have to talk very much. I just sat and enjoyed the conversations and listened to the stories they had to tell. Poor Kaitlyn, second to the youngest, had a stomach ache and didn’t feel well the whole time. I told her I could sympathize, except my pain was in the throat, not the stomach. The lump simply would not remove itself.

The longer the day progressed the more I found myself doing things that missionaries don’t do. These were things I hadn’t thought about for a very long time, like putting in earphones and listening to the news on the radio.

When we got to our hometown the stake president released me from my calling. That was probably the scariest thing that happened to me all day. I was terrified to enter that office. But it all turned out okay of course and I didn’t cry like most people said would happen when the tag was removed from your left shoulder. He wasn’t going to have me take it off but I made sure it was done. I knew I had to move on to the next thing and having the tag removed was a good way to symbolize the start of a new beginning.

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Searching

I was on the plane when I realized just what was happening. I had just finished having small talk with the guy next to me when I turned and looked out my window. The plane was beginning to move, everyone was excited to be on their way. I gazed at the beautiful green trees and the flatness of the land. I looked at every house I could see and followed the Delaware river until it rounded a bend and seemed to disappear. The sky was overcast but calm.

Suddenly I felt the plane lift off the ground making my stomach jump from the sudden change of pressure. Something caught in my throat and as the scenery below grew smaller tears began to pour from my eyes as if they had a mind of their own. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the land that I had grown to love so much. I would no longer see the Jersey shore, the monkey balls scattered along the cracked and crooked sidewalks, the large beautiful magnolia tree blossoms, or the custard stands that drew you in in the summer time. I would no longer see those same people I passed on the street, as my companion and I walked side by side knocking on each and every door we saw and I wouldn’t see the wonderful people I got to know as I went into their homes and taught them how to have happiness and joy.

It had all been so scary at first and the longer I stayed the easier it became yet there was always an abundance of trials that seemed to head my way. I struggled and laughed and lived and taught. I had a purpose, I had a reason, I had goals. Now it was all gone. I sat there on the plane watching all of this being pulled away from me, even though I was the one moving. My heart was breaking in two and half of it was being left on the shores of New Jersey.

As I left it there and let the tears fall I thought back again to the beginning. I had been at home watching my siblings grow and move on. I had been content at home, I had my goals and hobbies but soon content turned into restlessness. I let it grow until I was almost mad with the desire for escape. So I had gone on my mission. I left everything I knew and headed off for the foreign land of New Jersey. Now here I was again, headed home with no goals or plans. I was back to the beginning as if I had never gone on a mission. I hadn’t thought this far ahead and the question that plagued my mind was; what the heck was I going to do with the rest of my life?

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Overcoming Fear

Everyone has a dream that they think about and work on achieving. But not everyone achieves that dream and one may wonder why. I think it’s because they fear something. They go as far as they can with that goal, that dream until they reach the point where fear shows its face and it causes that person to stop or back away. They set the dream aside for a while; they still think about it but they no longer act upon it. Sometimes we just need to face that fear and move forward. It takes that extra boldness and persistence that makes the dream come true.
I have taken one step of boldness in overcoming that fear to achieve a dream. I love to write and I’ve always wanted to be a published author, but I am scared of what people think of my writing. I don’t like them to read what I write so I just keep my work to myself.
Today I have taken a giant step by creating this blog and I plan on using it to overcome my fears.

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