Monday, November 30, 2009

Evergreen



Me and the trees, losing our leaves
Falling like blood on the ground
I want to be evergreen
Everything dies, I know last night
Part of me wasn't around
I want to be evergreen
Yeah, evergreen...

Waiting, and listening
Hoping and missing all of our time left alone
I'm the one cutting the rope
Frostbite in winter, 'cause like a splinter you come and follow me down
I'm the one cutting the rope

Holiday end, I'm here once again, and I'm left alone on the bus with my
head on the ground, in hopes that I'm found by you
this time around

The sun will rise soon and tackle the moon
Chasing it still in the sky
All that I've got is tonight
Excuses and reasons, and now tis the season
For all that I never got right
All that I've got is tonight

Holiday end, I'm here once again, and I'm left alone on the bus with my
head on the ground, in hopes that I'm found by you
this time around

The night is a crow, saying come hold me
All that I know is that I've been lonely for thee
All that I knew and all that I know, I found myself under your rain
I want to be evergreen
I want to be evergreen

Holiday end, I'm here once again, and I'm left alone on the bus with my
head on the ground, in hopes that I'm found by you
this time around
I want to be evergreen..

I want to live all year round
- "Evergreen" Switchfoot

For the past ten years, a strange little group out of the California surfer scene has been in my life. I found them by accident, one day wandering into an equally strange little music store in Colorado Springs. The owner shoved "The Legend of Chin" into my hands and I was hooked. Their music is weird, strong and wonderful, the lyrics poetic and insightful and dead on.

Now that I'm down waxing philosophical on music, I wanted to share these lyrics of their with you - it's a rare song from them, on the first volume of the Happy Christmas albums from Tooth and Nail records. It's classic Switchfoot - thoughtful lyrics with a great bass line. And it's yet another song of theirs that's affected my heart in an unexpected way. (24, Dare You to Move, This is Your Life, and Awakening are on that list.)

Evergreen trees are amazing creations. It seems no amount of hot or cold kills them and they remain green all year along. The definition of an evergreen according to Answers.com? "Perennially fresh or interesting; enduring."

I want to be evergreen.

I don't feel fresh and interesting. I want more than anything to be enduring. But above all that, I want to live all year long. Not just exist. Not just go through the motions. I want to live out the passion that burns deep within my heart. The passion that comes with living out a purpose and being someone who matters. It's been a common theme for the last few years of my life - this idea of inspiring others and myself to "be the change they seek" (to paraphrase Ghandi).

This December night, with snow on the ground and a chill in the air, I find myself not wanting to lose my leaves, not wanting to follow the earth's movement into the death of winter. Instead I long to awaken the parts of me I've allowed to die and rediscover life.

I'm afraid it's been too long to try to find the reasons why / I let my world close in around a smaller patch of fading sky / But now I've grown beyond the walls to where I've never been / And it's still winter in my wonderland

______________

I am reposting this from December 4, 2007. There is much in this post that still rings true for me, but there is one significant change:

Moving to St. Louis awakening things in me that were long gone. It's awakened so much in me, while I'm not sure I'm evergreen just yet, I am most certainly feeling fresh, and definitely feeling as though I'm enduring.

Maybe it's because "I've found myself under your rain". It has, after all, rained a lot since I moved here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Breathe In Breathe Out

I walked outside this morning, bundled up in a couple of sweatshirts, my coat, a scarf and my slippers. It was 6am and I sat on the porch swing hanging *under* our porch. I started to swing. I watched a few lone cars traveling west on 1-64, I saw the sun come up in the reflection on the chapel windows. I took a breath...

and then I smelled it. Winter.

This is my first Thanksgiving without my family. I realize this is something I need to prepare myself for, because it's likely the Lord will take me far, far away from them after I finish my degree. But sitting on that swing this morning, shivering under all my layers, trying hard to forget that I live in a city... I didn't want to be here. This is the first time I can honestly say that being in St. Louis wasn't what I wanted for the moment. Being away from what I know and where I am most comfortable is not where I wanted to be.

The smell of winter has its own life. It's crisp, cold, clean. For me, it's always held a promise it in. The promise of God making a dying land beautiful again, a promise of warm sweaters and hot chocolate, the promise of special time with friends, drinking wine and making Christmas cookies.

I need to remind myself to breathe.

Because there is promise in that breath.

I know this probably doesn't make sense to anyone. I think I just needed to write this for me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Winter

This is the winter I am used to. Driving on a gravel road, looking to my right or left and seeing the tracks of a combine, a truck or a tractor in the field. The shelter of trees in the background tell me that somewhere nearby is a house or a farm, even if you can't see it. These trees speckle a landscape of flat land, rolling hills and spacious skies. The bright sun doesn't offer much warmth, and there is the presence of bitter wind. The ground a usually dull shade of brown, dying form the frost, the cold... the winter. The winter's are harsh in Nebraska. But to me, they are worth it.

Winter in St. Louis is very different. It's cloudy, damp, and kinda sad. Things are green, red, yellow. But not brown. The birds are still outside chirping, you can still go outside without a coat (usually a scarf will suffice, maybe some gloves on an usually cold day). Always take an umbrella or wear your raincoat. Invest in rainboots or you'll spend two or three seasons with wet shoes, wet socks and wet feet.

But most people that I talk to about St. Louis weather, when I describe Nebraska winter they say they will take winter in St. Louis any day over snow. I just don't understand that. Snow is magical in my mind. It gives new life to a dead earth, it shines and shimmers and sparkles... it in a word, it's gorgeous. For me, it's home.