The Home of My Heart
There are many things in life that I have lived to regret, many things that didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped, but the one thing I have forever been grateful for is moving to Colorado. It was quite a leap of faith for us, very scary in so many ways. We had no jobs, bought a house, and basically thrust ourselves into a "sink or swim" situation of our own making. The first few years were terribly hard (Heck, it still is now!! Who am I foolin'??) and required an enormous amount of sweat equity.
The life we have now here is one I never could have dreamed of having, it has the depth of relationships that make life so sweet, it has the beauty and spaciousness we are surrounded by that nurtures peace in our hearts, and it is Home with a capital "H"...something I never felt while growing up in Southern California. Maybe I did when I was very young, but as I entered middle school and especially high school I grew to feel a sense of longing for my heart's home, and I knew that where I was living was not it. I never knew anyone else who felt that call to a different place so strongly until recently, when someone new in my life expressed the same thing about returning to this area of the country. I knew exactly what she meant, as I too felt out of place somewhere once as well and experienced the sense of well being that came with finding my heart's home.
We explored a new area of our world today, going up to the high country to visit the boys who are camping with Kenny's best buddy's family. I don't know why we have never managed to get up to this incredible plateau before now, but seem to have always ended up going in opposite directions. Standing on what felt like the very edge of the world, looking out over the vista that God placed before me...seeing easily all the way into Utah...I was filled with something akin to indebtedness to God for providing us with this landscape, for helping us to raise our family in a place that often feels so sacred and special. I was talking with my fellow mommy this afternoon about how being able to access such quiet and natural spaces soothes the soul and allows you to get in touch with all that is greater than ourselves. It also helps us see how we need to live in harmony with the land around us, to show it respect, to remember we are caretakers of all that is before us.
More importantly is the community in which our children are being raised, where it may appear sometimes that poverty reigns but in fact it is a poverty of material posessions only...not a poverty of spirit as I often witnessed during my own childhood growing up in an area that rapidly became affluent. We live in a community where people reach out to one another, where nature is appreciated, where obtaining the latest and greatest TV is not uppermost on the majority of our friends' minds. We still hang out in the summer evenings visiting with our neighbors while swatting at mosquitos and discussing irrigating our land. We wave at everyone who walks or passes us by while driving...to not do so would be considered absolutely impolite in our neck of the woods! And when someone says they know someone who lives in Montrose, you ask for details because there really is a very good chance you may know them!!
Our children are having a childhood very unlike my own, a city dweller like me who grew up being taught not to talk to strangers (let alone wave or show a friendly smile), who never saw a real cow or deer up close until I was in my late teens, who didn't have a clue what the true meaning of "community" was.
In keeping with my Vow for Summer 2009, I brought the camera with me today, and I captured a few photos which I liked. Of course, they are mostly all of the family really, despite my effort to face my lens in other directions...it seems to have a mind of it's own :-) Let me share a little of my Colorado Mountain Afternoon with you...
Uhhhh...yes, we really ARE in Colorado and we really DO have really BIG and SCARY wildlife!
This is their idea of "firewood"...but with no axe to cut it into small logs!
The newly christened "Dirty, Smelly Camping Gang!"
Does this kid ever stop smiling???
Joshie is the "Man of Many Faces"!
The true Hero of the LaJoy family story!!
I love you, Dominick!!!!
Playing "Hide and Seek" in the forrest but giggling so loud they are easy to find!
"He's MY Daddy!!"
We are always teasing Kenny about having his hood on everywhere he goes!
Caught in a "GQ" pose!