Few things are better than time with family. The fun thing about growing older with siblings is that the type and grandeur of things done together changes.
Hence, this trip. It is the first time in my life that I booked flight tickets for the express purpose of seeing someone…actually somepeople. My three older brothers are my heroes: all and each are adventuresome, hardworking, excited by new places and cultures, and all have the travel-itch. As each left the family, they searched their fortunes and educations in many places. At this point, one is in Alaska, one is in British Columbia, and one is in Alberta. Take a look at the map: none of those places are near Chicago.
So what’s a sister to do? Get on a plane, obviously. (Sadly, I didn’t make it to Alaska…but someday!)
I spent nine packed days with my two brothers, their respective girlfriends, one brother’s friends and community, and two families of Aunts/Uncles/cousins.
I learned to appreciate again the size of Canada: we drove several late nights, keeping ourselves awake with hilarious silliness. Leaving Alberta to drive to BC was an all-nighter through the Rocky Mountains, under crackles of blinding lightning, through unpredictable summer storms, under the watchful eye of a full moon, and to the tune of Josh Garrels. I travelled by car, ferry, train and plane…and folks, it feels good to be on the road.
I appreciated anew the beauty of Canada too: first the flat prairies and wide skies of Alberta; then the mysterious, old layers of the coolies; the fire show in the mountains mentioned above; the blue silhouettes of those mountains on one side and the Pacific defining the other side of beautiful British Columbia; the sound of seagulls and the white turning of water behind the ferry; the still river-waters where one might see a beaver. My city-sore eyes soaked it in and my ears delighted in the sound of birds and water (and nary a siren!).
I appreciated, too, the blessed feeling of returning to family and kin. Staying for a year among strangers, almost-friends, and friends-in-the-budding has been good, but being with people you feel absolutely safe and at home with is nothing short of a gift of grace.
Now, I am back in Chicago. Mixed feelings about that. 🙂 But, as a dear lady said to me once, “Jesus makes us happy where He puts us.” He does indeed. But hopefully someday in the not too distant future, He will put me in the same vicinity as my siblings again…
Safe travels, friends.
And remember, there is always beauty, if your eyes are open.