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Quiet Time

I was in the mountains on a retreat and we had quiet time for an hour, this is what came out of it –

I want to run on greener pastures, I want to dance on higher hills.

I have been going through some things lately and a few weeks ago when that song came on my iPod in the car I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.

Well right now I am literally on higher hills because I am here in the mountains, but I still don’t feel like dancing.

And my soul is getting restless for the place where I belong

I ask that question when I feel lost – is this the place where I belong?

I think that this could be a place where I belong. We’re having quiet time but I’ve never been able to keep quiet for very long. Quieting my thoughts just means turning down the volume. There’s nothing I can do about the speed at which they constantly race around my brain.

It’s quiet here. The hills are rolling against the skyline, freckled by trees and not roaring freeways stuffed with cars.

There’s ants crawling on my toes. I don’t care. They’re having quiet time, too. Their whole life is a quiet time.

The little yellow leaves are falling one by one by one and the breeze is pushing them across the sky, the thinning tree branches stretching to the wisps of clouds left in the sky. Winter will be here soon, they say. Clothe us.

I came up here because I’m running from something and when I go back I will still be running from it. Even in my stillness I am running. I never get away because I think I am running from myself. I wish I could leave myself behind.

I can’t leave myself behind in the quiet spaces because in them I think about the places and people I’ve left pieces of myself behind in, and how that’s why I’m broken now.

But just for a moment, when I look at the fragments of stars in the sky, I lose myself. I leave myself behind in them, with a bunch of broken pieces I could never be whole without. It’s not the kind of sadness that rips right through you. It’s the kind of sadness that can be addicting if you’re not careful, the kind that you can’t escape no matter how much you smile it away. It’s the kind that’s seeped into your veins, pulses to your fingertips. Deep. It’s the kind of profound sadness that I wish I could share, but the beauty of it, the reason that it’s sad, is that I can’t. I can’t articulate it. It can only be felt, in my core, in my bones, in puffs of breath, vapor on the blackness of the sky.

The stars are so much more beautiful here than they are in the city, scattered across the sky in infinite broken shards. It sit in my backyard and look at them and wonder if someone is out there, too, thinking that life is vast and infinite and terrifying and how in this terrifying world will I ever meet them. Hoping it’s in the stars. Hoping we’re in each others’ stars.

But if something that beautiful can get even more beautiful the higher up you are, the closer you are to reaching it, well maybe that should give me hope. In the city you can see them – lights in the sky. But here you can see them too. They are up there all the same but brighter. From the new vantage point, clearer. The city lights fog them up, pretty distractions from what we’re really meant to see.

It seems like there are so many more stars here just because we can see them better. They’re with us down in the city, too, but the pretty little distractions are blocking our sight.

But they’re up there, whether we see them or not. Stardust, fairydust, shimmering. A promise that I’ll got up and down sometimes and won’t be able to see them sometimes even when things get dark. They’ll be there. Whispering to all the little broken parts of me. We’re broken, too, but we’re beautiful.