Monday, June 18, 2012

The bravery of a worm

We've been house-sitting for a couple gone to Finland for a year and a half. One of the joys of living here is the closeness to 3 city parks with interconnecting trails. It's so much more inspiring to go for a jog when you merely have to walk down the street. This time of year, the slugs, snails, and worms are in abundance along every cemented pathway. The slugs and snails are the grossest, for sure, but as I passed a worm this morning, I was struck by its courage. Think about it--slugs and snails are thick and gross (at least the ones here); they are obviously avoided by all bikers, walkers, and joggers--no one wants them stuck to their shoes. But the worms of this world? They are tiny in comparison, easy to mistake for a twig, and let's face it, pretty low on the totem pole of the animal kingdom. Anyway, the bravery of the worm. The worm leaves its home in the soil to travel to the other side of the cemented road, big monsters racing past (yes, I'm a jogging beast). It has no idea whether it will make it or not. It just goes for it. Maybe you're thinking that worms don't think at all, that they just act on instinct. Maybe so. But I feel inspired today to be like a worm, to brave new (and old) monsters without worry or fear of being stepped on.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Tyler and I are trading in this
 and this
for this
 and this

That's right. Portland, Oregon, to Denver Colorado. We're leaving  the small-town feel of Portland and the lush, green Pacific Northwest for the Mile High City and it's University of Colorado medical school in Aurora. We were basically packed over 2 months ago. We've been house sitting for a couple on their mission to Finland, so it's not as extreme as it might sound--packed for 2 months and a little less than a month less before the big move.

Moves are a big deal. Change is welcomed. And change is hard. When we originally made the decision to forgo Tyler's offer from OHSU and accept the U of C's offer with financial benefits :), our life in Portland was at it's darkest. We'd just lost Truman. We wanted an escape. At least I did. I hoped I would never have to go back to church and face the young women I had chatted with weeks before about baby names. I didn't want to go back to my job where my coworker used to move my play therapy kit from office to office so that I wouldn't put my pregnant body or tiny bundle of wonder at risk.  Like I said, I wanted out.

And now, with six months of healing under my belt, I am trembling to go. Portland has given me one continual quest, to:
smile at the rain.

Oh, how it has rained. My last semester at BYU, my choir sang a song whose lyrics came to me after our first loss of Sterling, back in Feb 2009. At that point, we'd only experienced about 5 months of "lovely" Portland weather, the continual gray drizzle with limited encounters of sunshine. Now, 4 years later, the words mean even more:

Darkness expelled by a light through the clouds
Heaven compelled to dissolve lightless shrouds
Tears dried by Sonlight no longer remain

After the rain.

Storms overhead no more darken the way
Shadows now cease to bedim the noon day
Then brilliant beams of hope are born

And brightness regained
After the rain.

Oh how the cloudbursts and tempests refine
As we let the light through to encompass and shine

Freely the soul sings for respite obtained
After the rainAfter the rain

Freely the soul sings for respite attained
After the blessed rain

This rain has been blessed. My heart has been broken. Shattered. And the Lord is mending me. Only He can do that. Tears are truly dried by Sonlight.

Denver. The city of sun. A place where the dream of medical school is coming true for our family. A place that has cheap flights to visit my loved ones in U.T.A.H. A place where Chelsey Marie will live minutes away. I am literally trading in rain for sunshine. 

I cannot tell you how much the rain means. You have to walk in it, run in it, crawl through it yourself. Oh, how the cloudbursts and tempests refine.

I'll miss you, Portland, your splashes of a thousand shades of green in every corner. The slight splinter of sunlight after months of gray. The land that became the first home of our Anderson family. The burying place of our sons. We trek east, but you will be in our hearts, always home.