Still here in Alaska, but rushing to get prepped for life in Iowa. A lot of people who know of my impending move are still a little curious about my reasons. All I can say is that no one can understand why I'm going unless they know where I've been for so many years.
My new town? I'll call it Mayberry of the Midwest. Mayberry. Not because it's small, quaint and country, but because it's everything I'm hoping it will be: small, quaint and country.
I'm looking to Mayberry for some physical, spiritual, social and financial healing. The last several years of living in Arizona, Texas and, back here, in Alaska have broken me in way that only God can fix. Living in a more affordable place is my first step to recovery.
Arizona ruined me financially; Texas broke my heart; and Alaska is too cold and expensive to give me anything I need in my life right now. I want to be in a new place in my body and in my heart. I want the promises that sometimes a place can only offer a specific type of person at a certain time in their life.
What I've heard about "Mayberry" is that there is plenty of fresh air, a friendly (and sparse) population of church-going people. I've heard of old trees in the yards, unlocked doors on the residences. I envision being welcomed should I approach a neighbor for a borrowed cup of sugar. Okay, that might be pushing the technicolor dreams too hard. Still, I need a break from the harsh glare of the life I've been living.
I am looking forward to making a home for myself. A place to put my few belonging and enjoy them in peace. I want a home that makes me feel safe and calm and ready to go out and re-insert myself in the land of the working. I can't wait to put up family photographs and surround myself with cheap and precious furnishings. I am craving a a space to cook and dine in that is clean, cozy and functional. I want to sleep in comfort and quiet. Waking up in the morning to appreciation of simple blessings is another goal. I can't wait to plant a small garden, nurture potted plants and, maybe, have herbs and spices on my windowsill. This home that I dream of is full of fresh air and light, smelling of flowers (grown or sprayed from a can) and hope.
I suppose I am dreaming of a home and life that can be had anywhere, as long as one can afford it.
When I look back on the past seven to ten years of my life, I have memories of drudgery and resentment and a lack of cooperation from the people I aimed to please. Until I gained the dreams of Mayberry, my future was a dark cloud of being crowded and forced to go along to get along. I haven't been so much living a life to enjoy than just moving from day to day in survival mode. Survival is like breathing: an automatic urge. Living is something only those with true hope and contentment can fully enjoy.
I don't wish on stars in the sky or rely on man-made promises. Stars burn out and men are only flawed and human. God, though, is a steady presence. He comes through every time. At the end of every road, in the darkest and loneliest of moods, He comes with hope and strength. I've walked myself toward many bridges in this life of mine, but I have never been able to cross a single one of them without the Lord holding my hand.
So now, I begin this walk towards Mayberry. The bridge is a little rickety and, despite what I've heard, I'm not really sure what's on the other side. I'm just walking in faith.
Watch this space for stories of what I find on the other side. For now, goodnight.