Monday, December 16, 2013

I'm Dreaming of a......

The photos are coming in. Everywhere on Facebook. A friend posts a photo of a lantern just outside her window, with a backdrop of snow and quaint New England houses. Another friend shares a photo of downtown small-town Pennsylvania, shrouded in snow. My heart aches.

The view from my friend's window
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to live in such an old, snowy place. Originally it was New England. My father and his father and his father going back generation after generation until the first boats of white men were invading those shores, lived and trod and defended that land. It is like there is something in my blood that draws me back.

Over the years I have expanded my dream. It doesn't have to be New England with its arm's length relationships (at least to outsiders and especially southern hillbillies like myself, or so I've heard) and its super-expensive real estate. Any place that is chock full of history and snow, "old and cold," will do. And, of course, let's ditch the cities altogether for a more small town/rural atmosphere.

Sure, maybe I am delusional. I am sure there are plenty who would say that I don't know what I am asking for. I remember one time saying to someone that I wanted to live where it snows a lot and he replied, "No, you don't." Well, really, I do.

So it just hurts, especially at this time of year, to see images of something I have dreamed of for as much of my 50 years as it is capable of dreaming of such things.

Sure, maybe I just want to live in a Currier and Ives etching or a Norman Rockwell print. But I know those places are real because my friends' photos tell me so.

Watch Knob and The Four Brothers, Swannanoa, NC
I cannot, CANNOT complain, really. God has blessed me immensely with living in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I know that. I do not take it for granted. Every, EVERY single time I come around the curve and there before me is the Warren Wilson College Farm being watched over by Watch Knob and The Four Brothers (for you non-locals, these are mountains), with the Craggies (yet more, and higher, mountains) as a backdrop, I thank God for giving me the privilege of living in such a breathtakingly gorgeous place. Every. Single. Time.

I don't know what it is that makes me think I can, or should, have everything I want. I already have so much. Maybe it is my desire to have heaven, or at least MY version of heaven, on earth. Maybe it is my built in Grass Is Always Greener gene, an obvious result of mankind's fallen condition. Maybe it is the I Want What I Want When I Want It, yet another result of the fall. These all result in the spirit of discontentment, within which I live an alarmingly large portion of my life.

Every so often the truth hits me. This life is not all there is. Maybe these longings are good, as they point to something better, to something more. I was not placed on this earth to just get what I want, even if what I want isn't money or fame or fortune but small towns and old houses and snow. I was placed on this earth to love the way God loves me and instructs me to love others, regardless of weather or time or place.

There is an eternity to enjoy heaven, I do not have to have my version of it for this short time on earth. In letting go of that I am free to do what I was created to do. That indeed is good news.


  1. Growing up in Mississippi, I also yearned for that Currier and Ives Christmas scene. We never got snow. Then I lived 6 years in Iowa (and one in Mass.), and I did get all the snow (and then some) that I'd longed for. And I don't miss it now that I'm back in the South, I'm happy to recall the years of snow and being snowed-in, but I realized that there's a mysterious beauty in the Southern winter too, and I didn't realize it until I was away. I love it now.

  2. Hey! I know that window :) hugs...