I remembered as a little girl wrapped in warm blankets laying on our cement patio with my dad just looking in wonder at the stars. I often think about my dad when looking at the stars, when I was a little girl and he was first in a nursing home, I missed him terribly. I sang the song from "Fivel" Somewhere Out There. The lyrics go like this:
Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight Someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight Somewhere out there someone's saying a prayer That we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there And even though I know how very far apart we are It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky Somewhere out there if love can see us through Then we'll be together somewhere out there Out where dreams come true And even though I know how very far apart we are It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky Somewhere out there if love can see us through Then we'll be together somewhere out there Out where dreams come true
It helped me to feel connected to him even though I couldn't be with him. All through my life when I have had to be far apart from someone whom I am close to and miss I have told them at night look up we, see the moon, the stars, we are looking at the same ones. I do the same, when I miss someone I look at the stars or the moon and think about how the one I miss and love can see them too and some how through this shared glance across space and time and sky and night we are connected, maybe even seen. I realized this morning while thinking about the stars and how much it excited me to find Orion standing strong in the night sky I listened to a sermon about how we are on a journey, a journey that at times takes us into the wilderness. Well I was flooded with thoughts I had to take out my notebook and start writing.
Writing that has brought me here, first I must tell you that I realized I am in the wilderness; a place of disorientation, unknowing, desolation, an in between place, sparseness, loneliness, brokenness and in my case just struggling to survive. Oh yes I am in the wilderness and I didn't even realize it because I am so distracted by what it is I must accomplish while I am in this in between place called Seminary. I was on a journey, life, messy ugly beautiful and lovely life. In this life I had a place called home in the state of New Jersey. I had friends and family surrounding me and we were living life together. We were getting married, having babies, buying houses, living life. Then into my life once again broke in the voice of God, saying, "Oh Becca I am not done with you yet." Not that this means I think God will ever be done with me, but there was a time where I thought I misheard something or maybe I wanted to be used in a way God didn't want to use me. There I was a mom to one, settling into my role as mother, when God said nice try and I began to feel restless thinking there just has got to be something more than this. I was happy, I had my little answered prayer but I longed for there to be more to life. I had to find the more. That's how I ended up here at my kitchen table in my dormpartment in a land they call Kentucky far away from what was home (New Jersey) and not knowing where home will be next.
It's weird to be someplace knowing you are only there for a short while, seminary after all is three years of that in between space, because you can fall in love with your surroundings and peers but come three years you will be moving on, called by God to serve God's people. Sometimes I still find things that surprise me about being here, like nothing ever starts on time. It is when my East Coast hustle shows, church starts late and runs late, even Catholic, even Presbyterian. Things like that are more laid back and to my Jersey girl it's foreign and weird and disorienting. This would never happen at home, home is a funny word isn't it. Where is home? That's a good question because it's not NJ anymore and KY doesn't quite feel like it yet all while knowing another 2.5 years and I will have a new home yet again. Then there are these complex feelings about life and family. How do you maintain the friendships 700 miles away? What of my desire to give Lilia a sibling? Does this new path of service allow for old dreams to come to fruition?
So here I am in this in between place, that feels foreign and is the wilderness with nothing but the stars to guide me. Lately, we have been watching The Lion King a lot. Simba encounters his late father in the stars and I can't help but wonder if that holds some truth. I wonder what my own late father would think sometimes or what message he would send me from the stars or anywhere else. The thing is I know where I have been, where I have come from and what has shaped me. My New Jersey home, friends, family, church family, actual house, they were all stops along the way. The journey continues if I dig my heals in or not. I am hesitant to put down strong roots here because I know the journey will move me forward. I may never be back to my old life, I take with me relationships for life, memories. It's time to get more connected here because there are new stops on the journey waiting to teach me something.
I thought the sense of security I got from the stars was silly at first but maybe it is just plain normal. Think about it, the stars have been guiding people on journeys for a long time. Ship captains used them, astronomers study them as do astrologers and then there were those guys in a desert (wilderness) about 2000 years ago who followed... a star... to something extraordinary.
Today I am grateful for the stars, the wilderness and the beautiful gift
of being able to find the words.