Back Again

Sunday morning, fog, orange juice for breakfast, fresh-squeezed from oranges picked in the backyard–we’re back in Fresno.  We’re especially thankful to be here, considering that Friday afternoon at around 2:00pm we were sitting on Interstate 5 in falling snow watching the people from the car in front of us walking their dog in the fast lane.  You know you’re in trouble when people from the cars around you start walking their dogs.  We didn’t actually get to Fresno until Saturday at around 3:00pm.  19 hours on the road and 8 hours in a hotel in Yreka.  Not our best trip ever.  Our worst, in fact.

But it’s behind us.  Now we’re in Fresno, the place where we are choosing to live for the next bit of our lives.  I find myself looking at it with different eyes.  In my childhood, I never really considered the place.  It was where we lived.  It simply was.  Since I married Silas, we’ve always more or less expected to end up living elsewhere, even when we were living here together.  Now, for once, we are truly choosing to live here.  I don’t know what that will mean for us.  We will begin to find out soon.

This choosing aspect of the process seems to change everything, somehow.  Yes, Fresno is ugly in many places, a messy haphazard sort of place where people are thrown together from different parts of the world and expected to manage one way or another.  It’s a sun-scorched, cruel place at times, where you have to leave things to fend for themselves and hide in the shade or the airconditioning.

Choosing to live here feels . . . (okay, I can feel it coming on.  Sorry about that.  I’m about to go metaphorical.  It’s happens to me now and then) . . .like coming full circle.  Life is often cruel and messy and scorching.  It is.  And choosing to live in Fresno makes me feel as if I’m embracing all the hotness and messiness of life, both life in general and my own personal life.  I’m meeting it head on.  It won’t hover in the periphery of my vision.  I’ll be looking it all in the eye.

It feels right, even though everything so far has been going wrong.  We can’t get a loan.  We found out on Thursday that our neighbor decided not to buy our house.  And yet I know it’s the right thing.

Kind of like the Incarnation (except without the cosmic significance).  Everything appeared to be going wrong there as well.  Why would God-Become-Man end up born in a stable because they were on a trip and there was no room in the inn?  And yet it was right.  Competely and wonderfully and miraculously right.

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