Five minutes from my house, stars replace city lights.
Last night we escaped. We're good about that - good about falling away if just for a little bit. When I breathed in and I could smell the soil, the sun-kissed wheat fields, the distant farms, my heart slowed down. The anxiety from the day was still there. Our problems still sat dormant back home. But in those stolen moments - we were free.
I'd lean into his back and wrap my arms around his waist, feeling the wind blow through my hair. We passed through a few small towns and at one point, when the green light led us through another, I thought to myself let's just keep on going forever.
He watched me as we shared a sundae and fries. Held my hand and wiped a stray eyelash from my cheek. Whispered, "are you okay?" even though he knew the answer - whispered because he wanted me to know he was there. So I leaned forward and shook my head and reminded him that even though I'm not okay today - I know I will be at one point. And he smiled and rubbed his thumb across my fingers.
On the way home, when I felt the joy bubbling just beneath the surface I understood what my friend meant when she told me last week, "Elora, you are going to experience joy in the middle of all this - and it's not going to make sense - but it's His grace. It's how we get through it."
I remembered this as we turned the corner and the sweet scent of soil turned into a bitter taste of asphalt and tar. Reality does this to us. Allows us joy in the midst of pain. A flower in the midst of concrete.
A spring in the midst of winter.
And it doesn't make sense - this laughing in the middle of tears. But it's grace, and I don't think we're ever supposed to truly define the one thing that holds us close to His embrace.