17 February 2011

home.

birdie1a

i grew up in a place where the sky burned like summer and wind laced our skin white with salt. where the whole of my world spanned some forty miles wide, hemmed in by blue all around.

but i left for Tertiary Education on the mainland and never did angle back. and now home is a spread of globe starched stiff with winter, where the sharp mix of cold and ash and diesel smells just right.

the name of my childhood town means ‘beloved heaven’* in hawaiian, so you’d think anything after that would be a disappointment. but solid truth: the midwest is gorgeous. all these bare-limbed woods and fields of milk sift through my pores, burrow warm in a seed of belonging. and my neighbors, with their chapped and sturdy smiles, become mine. my people. my place.

i know we’re mere sojourners, steering toward He who is home, but He tethers us together on the passing through. and every stop we make becomes my people, my place, because God lives there. and home to me is the wild and hallowed, teeming, messy, impoverished and beautiful spaces He inhabits.



* * *

join us for more imperfect prose.


*mililani can also be translated 'to praise, exalt,' 'favorite' and so on...depending on if/how you break up the word. (i think. maybe. just believe me when i say this lies FAR outside the realm of my expertise. though i can count to ten, identify colors, and sing 'ten little indians' in hawaiian.)

24 comments:

lisaweisman said...

Hi- I am also adopting through Holt and stumbled on your blog. Its SO beautiful and inspirational. I love your art! It's really great

Lisa

SheilaG said...

Beautiful!

Brandee Shafer said...

Lovely. So glad you're "blooming where you've been planted." And you're right; we're all just passing through. Should be storing up our treasures in heaven.

Raechel said...

My favorite bit of prose of yours yet. And that's saying something because I always enjoy your writing so much.

"He tethers us together on the passing through". Mmm. So wise and clear and sweet. You have a gift, Nic. Thank you for sharing it with me today!

Courtney Walsh said...

I'm a Midwesterner and agree completely. I love, love, love it and think it's so beautiful. This photo is absolutely stunning!

kendal said...

beautiful pictures. beautiful words. being okay with traveling on can be hard. you've embraced it, and that is lovely.

Jen Bontrager said...

Really like this post, Nicole.

Kristina Joy said...

Beautiful. Yes, yes, yes! And thank you.

Kati patrianoceu said...

Wow, this is beautiful! The contrast between your homes and the spirit that holds them together is really what it's all about. I needed this...

happygirl said...

I'm a Midwesterner, yanked from the heartland and dragged throughout the world by a sailor. I've been planted in the mid-atlantic (the only place I looked forward to leaving) and have bloomed in my "home." Thanks for posting. I loved your words.

Lindsay said...

you have that hawaiian beauty. and you describe all of your homes beautifully.

Brian Miller said...

i likemaking home in the wild and beautiful places as well...great writing...

patty said...

i love the way you link your words. beautiful photo.

keLi said...

chapped and sturdy smiles. yes -- i see them. this was beautiful, nic.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

How do you do this?! It's amazing. AMAZING.
Although I don't like cold. It gets in my bones and makes me want to hibernate. If I lived in the midwest, I'd be a cat lady.

Joybird said...

I have found this to be true also. Before the age of 11 I lived in 4 states on 2 coasts. While I had preferences I did learn early that life goes on and can be beautiful wherever I live.

emily wierenga said...

burrow warm in a seed of belonging...

nic, you don't know how i've been struggling with this concept of home: i'm not good at being rooted, and this, this beautiful prose, is my prayer: that i would know this kind of peace, because he is here. thank you, friend. (and WHAT a photo!)

Kimberly said...

Oh to see the world how you see it, and write it how you write it.

lulu and family said...

feel like i could give you a big hug. you are precious in your perspectives time and time again! beautiful. oh, and that bird. wow!

Anonymous said...

Well, you make winter in Indiana seem more tolerable, at least while I am sitting here at my computer. I did NOT feel that way when I drove to church this morning. There, again, I was warm and cozy with the family but now I just can't get warm. Where do you get the words that are just right? Blessings to you Nicci and thank you for sharing! love you, maryg

ananchorage said...

I grew up on the Plains and find I can't always breathe surrounded by the Alaskan mountains I now call home.

Gloria

Kristina Joy said...

Beautiful. Yes, yes, yes! And thank you.

Joybird said...

I have found this to be true also. Before the age of 11 I lived in 4 states on 2 coasts. While I had preferences I did learn early that life goes on and can be beautiful wherever I live.

lisaweisman said...

Hi- I am also adopting through Holt and stumbled on your blog. Its SO beautiful and inspirational. I love your art! It's really great

Lisa