And in this space I become a student again…
A student of myself.
And suddenly, the oh-so-missed college days return. Flashbacks to my ocean blue quirky little Wal-Mart bike (yes, it was stolen and yes, I am crying… almost) that could take me a mile a minute in any direction of campus flood my memory. And of course my favorite New College seminars like Songcraft and Creativity I and II with the infamous and dream shaping Dr. Dill. And who can forget those beautiful spring afternoons on the Quad in between classes with nothing to do but lie in a blanket of Alabama’s greenest grass and melt into the heat of the day, letting the mind run loose into the trees.
Oh, the joys of calling oneself a college student.
So not entirely different, here I sit at the classroom of my own thoughts, a student yet again. Here in this sacred space I collect, I analyze, I learn and relearn how to be human. It’s funny how we tend to forget such a thing. The art of being human, I am learning, is to listen well. To listen with my eyes, my ears, my feet, my hands. And here I feel more alive than ever.
And once again, I listen to myself as I allow my thoughts to climb high into the trees as they did on the Quad years ago. With time and years, I am learning how to watch my thoughts, how to step back cautiously yet attentively and gaze at their growing curiosity in the world around them, at their beautiful fascination with the trees. Like a child at the playground for the very first time, they climb in anticipation and wonder, alive and full.
Too easily in a culture like ours, we stand motionless underneath the trees, letting our eyes casually drift and wander from the climber we are responsible for, the climber we are belaying until suddenly, tragically, the climber falls as we have released all of the necessary tension in the rope. And just like the climber loses height, our thoughts lose what they are made for as we let them fall into ground-level normalcy. And if we’re not careful, our once creative and imagination thirsty thoughts forget how to climb trees.
I hope and pray that I can better learn to care for myself in this new season. So I step back, I look up and watch my thoughts climb. Branch by branch, they grow into the skies of my Creator.
And there He waits, watching my thoughts from above as I watch below. And He smiles down at His messy, broken child underneath the trees.