My son-in-law (a funny story, he is older than I am lol) and father of my only grandchild (also funny because she is 3 years younger than my daughter) is Polish, with dual citizenship. Long before I knew him, I had visited Poland, specifically Bielsk Padlowski, for two weeks and Belarus for one week. And I was thinking about the land and buildings but mostly the amazingly wonderful people. We sang our songs (I played the piano and keyboard there) and they sang and played songs they knew and it was wonderful! We were invited to a Polish wedding that lasted all day and into the night and I sang again by request and we ate great food, drank compote and partied with them. It was memorable, saying something with this poor memory I have lol. In Russia, I remember the older women and their wise but loving eyes, hardened by wear but bright and gleaming nonetheless. They had a love of life. I remember the sturdy children, making the most of every stick and mud puddle they could get into, smiling, strong and healthy. I remember the year before spending two weeks in London. Howe couldn’t visit Buckingham Palace because Queen Elizabeth was home there at the time. I remember the beautiful gardens and pride the people took in their tiny gardens in front of their flats (apartments) or tall, narrow townhouses. I remember paying to use the toilet and the worst toilet paper of my life. Funny the things you remember. But the garden in front of the palace, oh how beautiful! And then my mind goes to California and recording my songs in Mike’s studio. I remember the fantastic park in Glendale and hiking the trails. I remember my regular getaway in Yosemite and hiking the falls and staying at the bed and breakfast there. I remember Solvang. Wow. The mountains were beautiful and Burbank was lovely and Sunset Boulevard was trashy but the tiny studio and musicians there are top notch! I remember going to the Grand Canyon three times and how it took my breath away and looked different each time. I remember my exhaustion hiking to the bottom of the canyon and back up the same day on two of those visits. I do not recommend that lol. I remember skydiving in PA. No roller coaster has ever held the same thrill since. And to my eternal shame, I will always have on the DVD my screaming “This is better than sex!” Oy! I remember every other place I have traveled for a day, a weekend, or have lived, and it is very clear that I am who I am largely because of where I have been. Another obvious thing, God has always kept me safe and provided for me just what I needed just when I needed it. And my thoughts most often take me home to the little farm in Buchanan, MI where I grew up. It was the best place! It still is. My family is there and a huge chunk of my heart. The farm is gone but I remember every detail. I remember Grandma living up the hill to the right and Great Aunt Irene living on the hill to the left. I remember our dogs. I remember riding my bike to the ball field. I remember the smell of the lilac bushes outside the kitchen window. I remember fresh vegetables from the garden an dad’s grilling and homemade ice cream. Yummy! I temember.
I am unapologetically a nature girl. I am most alive outside, most happy dirty, most energetic working outside and most artistically worshipful surrounded by God’s designs and colors, touching His textures. I could live outdoors, rustic (no tech or electricity) camping is my favorite vacation. So when I walk down a country road, I am immediately the energetic, confident, loving, worshipful, poetic, artistic, powerful, fun girl again absolutely full of life and love and harmony with nature. It takes me back there, to before evil spots, dark places, bad experiences, grief, loss, etc. Walking down a country road for me is purifying to my soul and restorative to my essence. I am me again in the presence of God, purified and focused again, belting out new praise songs that pop into my head, dancing with the movement of the wind. I am that little girl who spent time alone with God again and His world. I am immediately reminded what is important and benidicial and what has to go, like doubt or worry or sorrow or anger. These melt away. The joy and peace and love and hope is left, faith and trust in God. And everyone has their walk down a country road. Some people’s is revisiting a familiar place from the past or going fishing or hitting a baseball straight down center or sitting quietly alone in prayer. Whatever you need to do to remember, do it because sometimes we need to go back and be reminded who we were originally made to be and the incredible Who who made us. ❤❤