I see now that this place is beautiful. After 18 years, I see.
I was so homesick when I moved here as a young bride. I wanted my mom. I wanted pine trees and yellow bells and buttercups. I wanted lakes to swim in and hills to sled down. I just wanted to go home.
The more trapped I felt, the uglier this place became. Ugly and mean. Smelly and dirty. Poisonous. My ruin. My hatred magnified every crime, bad smell, or dusty wind a thousand-fold. I loathed this place. How many times did I say it?
This place was not my ruin. My hatred for it was. Those dark ugly feelings about my home. The ground I walk on. The earth that feeds me. I hated that which nourished my body and could have nourished my soul. I hated it so much that my wish to leave became a desperation, a frenzy. And when there were no jobs and the sale of our house fell through, when staying became the only option, I disintegrated. I fell completely apart at the seams. My grief for my old dream of that other home was profound. Eighteen years of striving towards my jail break had come to nothing.
That’s what it took to bust the tough outer coating of my heart-seed so that it could put tender root tendrils down into this soil. I knew only love could save me. The hatred finally melted and a veil was lifted. Finally, I could see:
The lilacs and apple blossoms are heavenly. The water on the canal sparkles, jewel-like in the sun. The mallards and the rabbits, the robins and the meadowlarks are enchanting. The smell of sage on a rainy day, how the light and shadows play on the distant hills, the smell of river trees in the summer, and the distant snowy peaks make this place beautiful.
None of God’s creation deserves to be hated. I may hate what man does to it, but I cannot hate the ground, the grass, the birds, the water. All nature is capable of healing, and there is beauty everywhere for those with eyes to see and a heart to understand.