Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chapstick and Faded Memories

Currently listening to: The Weepies
Currently: yearning for something more
Current need: big hugs from little arms found in Cedar Grove

I've got lots of friends, yes but then again, nobody knows me at all.

My heart is heavy, as it often is these days. It is laden with broken relationships, frustrations, unmet desires, seemingly endless battles. But tonight, one battle weighs on me more heavily than the others I fight on a daily basis; the battle to be present.

The smallest things can send me back. Hearing Conch yelled across the Quad or through the Union, the name known to only 11 others. A breeze that blows just right. My red, high-top Chuck Taylors. But tonight, tonight it was chap stick...Banana Boat SPF 30 with aloe vera and vitamin E to be exact. The little yellow and green tube had been hidden within desk supplies for who knows how long. And it choose tonight to re-enter my life, to take me back, to remind me.

The clear substance glided smoothly over my thirsty lips, smelling slightly of coconut and aloe. To the outside nose, that would be all; but that smell means much more. It is the smell of the cool ocean breeze sailing over the Gulf of Mexico, flowing through my unwashed hair and causing the beads of sweat on my body to evaporate, leaving their trace by calcified salt on my skin. It's the smell of way too many tortillas and cream cheese (which, to this day, I still cannot eat without feeling sick). It's the smell of being completely invested in the people around me. It's the smell of learning to accept a failure. Of pushing harder than ever believed possible. Of simplicity and pure freedom. The smell of truly experiencing God's presence for the first time. It is the smell which best encompasses the best 15 days of my life. It is the smell of living in the moment, of being present.

My heart longs for more--freedom, adventure, opportunity to break from the numbing daily routine, comfort.
It's easy to focus on not wanting to be here. It's easy to count down the days to our so called freedom. It's easy to long for things left behind or which lay ahead. The harder thing is to be present, to be focused, to be invested, to be here now.

Let me never forget that smell.

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