Monday, October 25, 2010

Encountering new frontiers

There is something compelling about the mysterious, the undefined, about uncertainty and the unexpected. Something that calls to you, that draws you in, holds you close, and compels you to continue to move forward in search of an answer. Sometimes we don't even know the question we are seeking to answer, and yet we search after the great unknown, seeking the very edge of the undefined frontiers of our existence.

And if we don't give in, don't shy away, and continue along the journey we often find that the frontiers that we come across are wholly different that what we thought we were searching for when we began our quest. It is in such moments, moments of encountering new frontiers and forging new pathways that we find ourselves closest to the heart of God, nearest to understanding what it is like to see the world through His eyes, held in the majestic embrace of wonder and majesty.

Today was a perfect fall day, a day in which the sun broke out and warmed the earth, offset by beautiful puffy white clouds and complemented by a nearly full moon looking across the sky at the rising sun.

It was a day characterized by a brisk wind, consistently causing the leaves to dance in the trees, leaves in many different phases of changing colors, symbols of the path of life, not remaining static, but embracing the change and shimmering in multi-colored brilliance before letting go of the arm which has nourished them to carpet the pathways with a blanket of colorful and crunchy magnificence.

This blanket obscures the pathways, making it more difficult to see the way ahead, yet simultaneously offering a unique and splendid opportunity to walk a familiar path in a new light.

Sometimes it is only in letting go like these leaves that we can appreciate the world from a new and uniquely vibrant perspective.

On October 15 I embarked on a journey, a journey across the country to simultaneously celebrate the nuptials of a dear and familiar friend and embrace an unknown future marked by unfamiliar relationships rising up from a new path into an unknown frontier I have begun to walk with captivated heart in tandem with a new and unexpected manifestation of brilliance and wonder.

Alison and I arrived in Livermore and engaged in a series of forays into super delicious culinary pleasures, a mission which would demand our attention and allegiance for the next several days. Such forays included stops at cupcakes, ice cream, chinese food, cookies, an array of wedding delicacies, tri tip, Mr. Pickles sandwiches, afternoon tea, and a requisite final detour to in-in-out burger.

Somewhere amidst the eating we did manage to find time to attend the wedding of a dear friend along with Kristen and Corey, celebrating an embarkation upon a new and uncertain path. Perhaps the greatest highlight of the evening was the entirely unexpected arrival of an account of the journey of bride and groom in the form of a musical, designed by the musical loving mother of the bride.

Further moments of great reflection and wonder along the path included a visit to the longest burning lightbulb in history, still burning after 109 years in Livermore Fire Station #6; riding in a '68 Shelby GT 350 Cobra Mustang convertible to go get the aforementioned in-in-out burger; driving through Santa Cruz with the top down in Alison's Volkswagen Bug convertible; and wading in the ocean along the boardwalk in Santa Cruz.

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the journey was one wholly unforeseen, the seemingly innocuous arrival of an old trunk that had belonged to Alison's grandfather at the front door courtesy of closing a storage unit and seeking a new home for that which had been contained therein.

Curious as to what this unknown trunk might be I joined others in going to peruse it to see if entry might be gained. As soon as I encountered the trunk I noticed it had the appearance of a WWII era foot locker, and was instantly intrigued. The quest to gain entry being successful, I soon found myself looking at a complete set of WWII uniforms of a US army infantry captain. The foot locker included the full sets of pants, shirt, coat for each variety of uniform, along with the appropriate hats and belts and numerous other accouterments. It was like walking into a miniature museum right in front of me and finding a pathway covered in a blanket of beautiful and wondrous leaves, leaves out of history, growing into tangible reality before my eyes.

It is not when we follow the safe well marked path that we come to value and understand the life we live, but rather when we find ourselves immersed in wonder and mystery that we encounter unforeseen frontiers that open our eyes to a new and greater appreciation of the value of footlockers rising out of the leaf strewn pathway.

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