I hear it.
My soul, breathing.
Nestled in a rocker that’s held its place on the wide, teal-painted porch chipped with life and history, it sighs as I stare at a carpet of rich greenery, forest tips of trees leading to the cut of Smoky Mountains. Blue silhouettes brush the sky drifting lightly pastel pink among powder blue. Gently billowing clouds kiss the crests. Such quiet, save birds calling out to each other, extending offering of friendship. Air of peace, God’s presence palpable.
This is where my heart is assured it’s safe, where its voice can lift and has permission to slip to the front and speak—finally, it has the floor. Here, God rises to meet me in the dappled dimple of mountain valley, foothill leading an internal climb.
Sun chases down the sky, and I still sit, savoring the silence and seat with Him who placed otherworldly longing within. Fresh breeze tumbles over the mountain, smooths my skin and pushes exhale of wonder from my lips.
How can solitude like this stir me in ways I’ve needed but never known? Light reflects raspberry on a pillow of cloud. There is much to explore in this place but my soul wants nowhere else tonight. Simplicity has slipped elusive from my haggard life for too long, days dragging in one cluttered puzzle after another. I’ve run in place attempting to solve what is meant to remain mystery.
Maybe my soul sighs without prodding because it feels acceptance, permission to be, to be real and open, with no anxious thoughts ready and waiting to do battle, ready to knock down my heart before it can find firm footing. Instead, my mind has stilled, taken the backseat for once in my frazzled fight to find a split second of blessed assurance. This is my heart’s moment, resting in His quiet, the gentle way He is.
Only love. Only understanding. Such a difference from the sirens screaming to shut it all down.
Slow. Open. Receive. Reciprocate.
A girl could cry in gratitude for the grace wrapping her close. Space where it all makes sense, though nothing is certain. Because simplicity has been so foreign, and I, a weary traveler who found no rest on paths wound around the thicket of safe space. Now, I’m enveloped in its covering. At this moment, all I know is God is good, kind to meet me right where I am, as I am; I have seen it with my heart.
White veil drapes a curtain over mountaintops. Shadows stretch, draw cooling breeze. The pattern of my lungs trace easy now. He pulls me with lovingkindness, coaxing my heart into the open. Immediately, I trust that I can tell Him anything and He will not turn away. That He will hear me, and not tear me down. Sacred ground, this is.
I hold my hopes out to Him, those tender shoots longing to be recognized. My fears, too. The crystal ones, so vulnerable, poised to shatter me if those hopes do not materialize the way I long for. The disappointments that would well up and send great, gut-wrenching sobs from my chest. He understands. He has wired me and set those deepest needs inside. True intimacy is being honest, a two-way conversation that listens and responds, is earnest and vulnerable. I cast wide my soul and allow Him to search, seek and see.
Dusk drapes itself across the landscape. I rock to the rhythm of God’s hum, mix of pine, stone and starlight. I am here and He is close, holy communion that frees the coiled parts of me to loosen, stretch and stand. How He quiets me with His love, soothes me to finally set my heart on audible and give it encouragement to clearly say what it has been fighting, validate its voice.
Maybe it’s just Him and me up on this mountain, clear breath and pulse beating beneath my chest. Distractions distanced, I’m drawn into solitude. He cannot get to me any other way but by this wide-eyed wonder and glance of eternity in the finite smallness of suspended motion. Slow and still, the gentle cadence of my weary soul spreads satisfied.