Yugen

Weeping willow trees have mesmerized me since childhood. They are gentle giants, tickling the surface of land and water. Their austere presence offset by their affable, swaying limbs.

We spent the weekend at Scott’s parents’ house in Lone Jack. The calm(ish) before the storm of the upcoming weeks. My mind was still busy making plans and organizing details (the ‘ish’ in the calm) but it was nice to relax and even ‘trash talk’ while playing cards after dinner and simply being present with my in-laws while they went about their normal routines (this weekend it was replacing brake lines in a truck and picking mountains of beautiful okra from the garden.) If you read my previous post about our upcoming move you can imagine how much I enjoyed being out in the country, drinking it all in. They were excited for us and told us stories of times when they visited the Sacramento area of California.

On Saturday morning, Scott and I ran into town for a quick errand. On the way, we passed by these beautiful willows. I asked Scott to pull over, so I could take a picture.

I stood before them and admired their grace. I might have heard them snicker at me a little bit. They mocked my harried stress over our move. From their decades of holding court over this spot, they shook their heads at the overall insignificance of our current situation. In the grand scheme of things, we are but moments.

It seems the Japanese get all the good words. Many of us have embraced the word ‘wabi sabi’: a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Many books have been written about this freeing concept of letting go of perfection and embracing what is. I have recently learned another Japanese word, ‘yugen’: those moments when your awareness of the universe triggers an emotional response too deep and mysterious for words. I felt yugen as I stood before these weeping willows. They tower over us in strength and size but quietly invite us to come sit under their umbrella and escape everything for just a few moments. I was thankful we’d pulled over to watch them for a couple of minutes before hurrying on.

As I drove out to Lone Jack on Friday afternoon (meeting Scott there after work) I was listening to a podcast and heard this analogy:

The most anxious time is waiting for your cake to rise. Especially when you want to hurry up and eat it! Yet no matter how much you want to jump over the baking part, it doesn’t matter how high you turn up the oven, it will not make your cake rise any faster.

(Of COURSE a cake analogy would make the most sense to me!) -ha!

I want to absorb the images of the willow branches blowing in the wind and the analogy of the cake taking its perfect time to rise. I want to take them into the moving process these next few weeks. I want to remember them when the inevitable glitches will occur.

God whispered through weeping willow tree lessons, card games with quarters, shop projects and time spent with family. That’s a pretty good weekend in my book. I hope yours was rejuvenating as well.

“Are you sure about this??”

We prayed for the Lord’s direction. Over and over and over again I prayed: “This needs to be your decision. We want to be where YOU want us to be.” I felt like I was prepared for either answer. But when the answer finally came, my first reaction was:

“Are you surrrrre about this one, Lord?!”

We are two born and bred Missourians. We proudly hail from the 816. However, we are also two people who LOVE a good adventure.

So when Scott was offered a job promotion this week, we were intrigued. And now it’s official. As of September 15, we will be two Midwesterners living in northern California. Yep…California! 

Sacramento area, to be exact. Roseville, California to be even more exact.

Do we know what the precise plan is? We don’t. This is an extreme practice in patience…and both of us are failing at various times throughout the day. It all happened within the span of a week and a half. Then we were given three weeks to move. If you know me at all, you know I’m now up all night planning and making lists. The scratchpad next to our bed is scribbled all over with dark-of-the-night notes. We are a million emotions all at once.

So that’s the big adventure we are about to go on and we’d love to have you go along with us. We welcome any advice you have and we’ll take you along as we discover new places and people on the west coast. (Do we have to start saying ‘left coast’??) We’ll be a couple of hours from a lot of cool places: Lake Tahoe, the Redwood Forest, San Francisco, Reno – lots of things for you to do when you come for a visit! (wink*wink)

Meanwhile, let’s figure this thing out together, ok?! Let’s go!