What does distance do? I don’t know, but I can tell you my heart feels a little swollen right now. “Distance makes the heart grow swollen.” I’m not sure that has quite the same feel-good ring to it.
But I actually think a swollen heart can be a good thing. For one thing, it means my heart has GROWN in it’s love for you – it’s actually bigger (at least I imagine it to be). In our physical bodies, swelling is an indication of injury or inflammation – something that’s just not quite right. But that’s a good thing too. Can you imagine the damage we’d walk around with (and just let get worse and worse) if we didn’t have indicators like pain and swelling? So, I’m thinking my swollen heart is trying to tell me something…
Oh yes! I know what it is!
I miss you, little buddy!
(And your Dad, too).
You’re probably wondering where I am. Actually, you are most definitely not caring one bit where I am because you’re having the time of your life with Daddy and family and friends who are helping to take care of you [shout out to Linda & Bami/Poppa John/Abba/Car – THANK YOU, guys!]. So, here’s the funny part. I am only about an hour away and I’ve only been away for about 24 hours. Wow. My heart is tender. I must be soft or something. I guess that’s probably a good thing, too.
Your dad is the best and he is helping me make time for some writing projects that I want to work on. I hope that by the time you are old enough to read this blog that you are also able to enjoy many, many stories that will somehow get out of my brain and into book form. So, that’s why I’m here.
And I’m making progress. Here is a little excerpt from the currently nameless book I’m working on this weekend.
She woke from her rest to the feeling that her dreams had been heavy. The specifics of the content had escaped her, but an eerie sense of uneasiness remained. And she knew right away that she was overdue for a much needed visit. It was time to go see the King.
Why had she waited so long to go in the first place? She knew her light was dimming and her rest had been restless, if that was even possible. And this feeling … what was it? It was not something she was used to living with and she was ready to be rid of it as soon as possible.
It was more than uncomfortable. It was confounding. She closed her eyes and thought carefully. But it didn’t take long to resolve that she simply didn’t have words for it. As she opened her eyes and got to her to feet, she shrugged her shoulders and mumbled to herself, “too close to the Valley, I guess. And definitely too far from the City.”
The voice of her friend called to her from the path on the other side of the vast wild flower field. The land was level, as it was almost everywhere in Zion, but the healthy growth across the field made it difficult to see Israel as he made his way toward her.
The beautiful Selah flower was one of the heartiest. It reached high and budded boldly, as if to proclaim some triumphant truth to the skies. Evie loved visiting the gardens that were sprinkled all throughout the city, but she was surprised at the health of the the flowers in this particular field. She had traveled far from the city’s center. In fact, she was a solid day’s journey from the Mountain. Usually the flowers farthest from the King’s palace were the smallest and the weakest.
“He did tell me that he cares even for these,” she remembered as she gently pulled one of the Selahs down to breathe in its soft, comforting fragrance.
She looked up, startled. In her wondering about the flowers and her remembering of that recent conversation with the King, she had forgotten that Israel had been eagerly on his way toward her.
“I’ve been looking for you! Actually, everyone has been. We wouldn’t want you to miss tomorrow’s celebration. And anyway, you have to come back because there are like three million thousand billion empty scrolls for you to work on!”
Israel had a tendency toward hyperbole. He couldn’t help his excitement. It just poured out of him and everything about it was genuine – his energy, his passion, his deep conviction. Afterall, his name was given because of his triumphant spirit. Evie loved her friend’s excitement, but she also knew that “three million thousand billion” was probably quite an exaggeration, not to mention that it wasn’t even a real number.
In either case, the truth of the matter was that there was work for her to do and the Keeper would be expecting her. She started back on the path with Israel and as she faced the Mountain, the warmth and radiance of the morning light flooded over her face and she smiled. Morning was her favorite time of day.
“Zion must be the absolute perfect home for me,” she thought to herself, “since it is always morning time here.”
She thought of the glory of the palace, of how she loved to visit the King. She thought of her mission – the special job of filling each scroll with the most beautiful truths she’d ever heard.
Wait! The scrolls. What had Israel said about them?
“Israel, what did you just say about the scrolls?” she asked.
“What? I was reminding you to go fill them. But, I mean, don’t thank me. That’s what friends are – ”
“No, you said something else,” she interrupted. She furrowed her brow, trying to remember the word.
“Oh, that they’re empty?” Israel offered.
That was it. Empty. That was the word she had been searching for earlier. It was the uneasy feeling that had accompanied her dreams. And the feeling seemed to be growing in correlation to the dimming of her light. She dropped her chin and studied the still visible, but faint flicker in her chest. She wondered if Israel had noticed.
As they started to walk together, she stretched out her arm and let her hand graze across the tall, strong stalks that supported the buds above. She still was not fully satisfied. It was not the same kind of emptiness that characterized the beautiful parchment scrolls she worked with. No. This was a heavy emptiness. How was it possible to be both heavy and empty?
“A question to ask Sophia later,” she thought, as she skipped along the path beside the field to catch up with Israel, who was making his way, as usual, at a speed only boys would enjoy.