The Wilderness to Open Space

March to June the harvest came. 

The harvest of seeds I had been sowing for years and years and years had finally come to fruition in front of me. 

“Behold, I will make a way in the wilderness” 

He did. 

I was out of the wilderness and I couldn’t believe it. When I walked out, I was met with a golden hour of rest. I was met with fields of wildflowers up to my knees- the terrain still unknown. I couldn’t see my feet and where they were walking, but I didn’t have to. 

I was met with a tree that was once a small apple seed I had scattered when I was young, now towering over me reminding me that fruit had come. The waiting wasn’t done. But, in this season, I could reach out and hold what had been healing and growing within me and around me. I could lean against this tree and lay beneath its shade as the wildflowers comforted me and gave me company. 

It was all beautiful and yet, terrifyingly foreign to me. 

The wilderness had become strangely comfortable after spending all of these years there. I learned to befriend the dark. I even grew to love the winter trees and the chill of a winter night cutting deep to every part of my being. The winter wilderness was often miserable, but it kept me awake and in need. And in my need, I discovered new parts of me as my pride crumbled down into the depths of the snow. In the wilderness, I learned the trails I could safely roam. And, it was in that darkness of the forest of trees that I found I wasn’t quite alone. Many others were making their way through the wilderness too And when our paths crossed, it was holy. You couldn’t not grab a hold of another you met who too was navigating the dark cold terrain. It was in that place of walking together, with only the lamps we each carried, that I found the heart of community. Our lights were small, but together, enough. Again, I found that I was in need- of another. The light that I carried was never enough to get me through. 

So, as I found myself out of the wilderness for a period of time, I was afraid. The golden hour, the wild flowers, and the tall trees were inviting and refreshing to see, but almost too much to take in. I felt flooded with light and color. I had grown accustomed to looking for the one wild flower sticking out in a dark trail of weeds. 

None of it felt real. 

I had convinced myself that my home was in the wilderness. I forgot though what it was like to find yourself in the golden hour of a day, resting underneath a sturdy tree’s shade. I didn’t know where to wander. So, I didn’t. I stayed close to my tree. I studied it’s leaves. I took note of the roots that must have been grounding it way down deep. I caught it’s fruit as they fell in their time. Something about the tree captivated me and made me feel safe and rooted too. 

I stayed by that tree for as long as I could, I knew not to wander far. 

But, in late June, the wildflowers began to crumble beneath the scorching summer heat. The garden in front of me was overgrown and beginning to be overrun by weeds. My open space was beginning to be a bit more familiar than the wilderness I had always known. It was bright with light and filled with long days of seeing all that was in front of me. Except, what I was beginning to see was that out here, in the open space, I actually avoided the space beyond what I could see. 

In the wilderness, I could never see too far in front me and so I traveled the unknown grounds constantly- seeking my way out. Once I was out, I didn’t want to see what was beyond my tree. I wanted to remain in the safe space. I healed there- absolutely. But, I quickly learned that was not the place to stay. I had to walk into what laid beyond just my tree. I had to see what there was in this open space. So, I knew I needed to carry on in my journey in trust of what lied ahead.

I had to throw a few apples into a bag to remind me of the harvest that had finally risen and to remind me that more harvests lay ahead. With each apple I carried and ate, new seeds could fall for the years to come. I couldn’t remain in just one place. The seeds needed to scatter and take up their own space. And so too did I. 

My physical location may not have changed this year, but the posture of my soul has. It has broken, rested, healed, and wrestled. It has learned that both the darkness of winter and the golden light of summer bring pain and beauty and their own kind of warmth. It has seen that bitterness is the poison that brings me tangled up into the weeds of spring. It has felt the punch of pride and the gentle touch of another’s humble love. It has seen that the one who made a way in the wilderness also makes a way in the open space. My home is within. It is a home I am still very much building. I replace the light fixtures and the walls often. I am never quite set on the layout that could all that is within me. But, I build and rebuild anyway because this home, this home comes with me in both the wilderness and the open space.

March to June the Harvest came. Now, I am unsure of what I am walking in. It is not quite the wilderness or the open space. But, what I know is that I am not left to venture through the new territory alone. Seeds are being sown. So, I will sow on.

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