Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wyoming Trip, Day 7

We drove across South Dakota in bewilderment. I didn't know there was anyplace so unpopulated in the world. For one stretch we drove for 3 hours on state roads and didn't pass a single habitated home.

We drove through The Badlands, to which Isaac commented, "these badlands are terrible."

And we saw Mount Rushmore.

And we drove through the Bighorn Mountains.

And we drove and drove and finally, stopped just East of Yellowstone, to this town of 351 people, called Meeteetse, Wyoming, the outskirts of which will be our home base for the next week or so.

So I sat on this hill this morning sandwiched between Meeteetse and the Snowcapped Rockies, and wrote. Here is an excerpt from the thoughts that came out of my pen.

Being out West, I come from Back East. Back East I've got a lot of control on what goes on in my life. I get things. How life works, what people do with their time, who to trust, where to go and when. I'm in the driver's seat Back East. In a sense I'm like a Humanist, who can make decisions, and situate my life to make things happen to my advantage. There's safety and comfort in that reality.

In many ways, these next five weeks represent a period of transition for me and my family. A new baby is to come, I start a new job with new challenges and opportunities, I begin to construct post-National Board life pattern.

And here I am in Wyoming. In more ways than I anticipated, away from it all. On the cusp of the Rocky Mountains, I feel like a grizzly bear could come and tap me on the shoulder -- and then maul me. I'm confronted with unfamiliar fears and insecurities. In a culture wholly different from mine, with stores, and people, and land, and animals, and music, and beautiful landscapes, and sounds, and wildflowers, and customs and rhythms of life, and jokes, and shared struggles of which I can only be a students, with no hope of real participation.

And the humanist in me from back East says, "Why the did you come here? How does this help?" But up from my heart, the Christian reminds me, "watch and listen, He will show you why."

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