Journey to a New Home Day 3: Perseverance

Yesterday morning we got off the interstate in pursuit of Castle Rocks, a geological formation that looks like a castle. This formation was caused by water and the winds of the plains.

The signage for finding these rocks in the middle of cornfields is minimal. I initially turned the right direction only to turn around because Google maps was directing me a different way. Maggie, my wife, called me from her car to tell me she noticed an obscure sign directing us along the original route I sought. I snapped at her! She snapped back! (This is our way when we get lost while traveling. It is good to know we can argue when in two cars as well as we can when in the same car.)

Eventually, we decided to drive south in the direction the one sign pointed. We drove and drove. The paved road turned to gravel and we drove. I recall saying via cell phone, “I’m willing to go a little further but not much farther.” Then a funny thing happened. I just kinda got into a rhythm of driving, of trusting that at the moment that we needed a sign, it would be there.

So, we drove. In two cars with West Virginia plates we drove on straight gravel roads into the fields of Kansas maize. We continued driving as our cell reception came and went. We continued driving as hawks perched on telephone poles waiting for easy prey. We continued driving as friendly Kansas farmers waved at us as they passed us in pickup trucks heading the other direction. We drove for eleven miles further and further from gas stations as my gas gauge dipped below a quarter of a tank. And, I said to Maggie during a moment when we had cell signal that, “THIS, better be worth it!”

Finally, a sign appeared and we turned and drove another four miles and found rocks in the middle of cornfields. For good, measure I said to Maggie one more time, “THIS better be worth it!”

Then we approached the rocks in a cornfield. I stopped. Maggie stopped. Two cars with West Virginia plates. Two travelers seeking something spectacular. Two slightly irritable and expectant souls. I opened my car door and stood up.

Silence enveloped me and wrapped its loving arms around me.

The rocks were fascinating but it was the silence that I needed. Even though I thought I had been in pursuit of rock formations beyond the cornfields, beyond the hawks waiting for prey, beyond reliable cell towers, and beyond waving farmers in pickup trucks, it was the silence that let me find it.

When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all of your heart I will let you find me, says the Lord. –Jeremiah 29: 13-14a NRSV

One comment

  1. Beautiful, Tim. I noticed this time when I stayed in the hermitage that both my need and my capacity for silence and solitude has deepened. Your words have just transported me back to that stillness, and it is refreshing. Travelling mercies to both of you…

Leave a Reply