For two weeks this past summer I was both rejuvenated and inspired in the foothills of the Palouse. The very air seems to be more invigorating in northern Idaho and the cool evenings are so refreshing in contrast to Salt Lake City. The rolling hill views and beautiful trees uplift my spirit in a wonderful way, energizing me with vitality. We also were fortunate to visit several maritime communities in Nova Scotia, Canada, where we enjoyed the salt air and moist climates of waterfronts along the South Shore and searching for shells in the tidal pools of Blomidon Beach.
The other reason for my sense of joy is that as Linda and I walked, we bonded once more with the places of our respective youth. Our roots together began in Moscow, Idaho, where Linda mostly grew up. We first met there some years ago due to the opportunities both her Dad and I had of working at the University of Idaho. So, being there together, surrounded by the warmth and embrace of Linda’s family, gives us respite. In Nova Scotia, my brother, sisters and folks still live in small towns of the Annapolis Valley, less than two hours from where my best high school chum and his mother and sister now reside in the town of Lunenburg, along the South Shore.
As I write these words, Linda is once again among the Palouse hills, enjoying her family and vice versa, a brief interlude of joy where she can truly be in the moment with her Mom and Dad and they with her. Yes, it’s much colder there now, and winter’s mantle of snow there is deeper than here, but the warmth of her familial connectedness is apparent as I hear her voice affirm her peace of mind. She is home and all is well in her world. While I cannot go back to the Valley at Christmas to be with my folks, or to Lunenburg to visit with my friend and his family, I know they are together and in my heart I am in their midst.
I am thankful for the bonds of love that our parents have for us and the reciprocity of that wondrous gift. Linda emulates her Mom, as well as he Mom’s mother to a T as she and I pass on the legacy of love through the generations to our beautiful daughters. Love is a gift to be shared, and regardless of who we are and where we come from, each of us is being called to embrace those around us, whether we live in a big city or a small town.
There’s a lesson in this that speaks to my mind, heart, and soul – we can all be family by choosing to tear down the walls of ego that separate us and instead fashion the nest to nurture each other. The beauty of our unity is in acknowledging our commonality and connectedness even though we are unique and different from each other (including our big city or small town backgrounds).
What I cherish and value about Moscow, Idaho, and Berwick, Nova Scotia, is that is where, among our own families, the caring for us runs deep. Their flow of life is centered on relationships with your child, your family, your faith community – those with whom you celebrate and relate on a daily basis as you go from moment to precious moment. My thanks to both these communities and to our families for the peace, joy, and serenity we find in coming home.
It is my hope and wish that you be blessed and loved this season (wherever you are and in whatever place you call home)!