Some time has passed since my United flight took off from Medford, Oregon. Some time has passed since the big white van full of students drove down the Greensprings Mountain. Instead of standing outside my bedroom window, those pine trees now stand in my memory.
However, I ardently feel the need to talk about my time in Oregon. There is something beautiful in the way that humans can look at a random collection of words and faces and objects and make meaning out of it all. I want to dump out that shoebox of mementos onto the floor and look at them all, one by one, smiling.
I want to thank those who shared that adventure with me. Who dissected books and foraged through age-old ideas of story and meaning. Who cooked me curry and gluten-free naan. Who let me rest my head on their shoulders as I slept on winding roads of Redwoods. Who opened up their living rooms and served me bottomless cups of tea. Who taught me that no matter who you are or where you’re from, you can always make new friendships.
I would also like to thank my Savior for piloting me through this season of life. I have called many places my home this past year: five different homes in four different states. But no matter what the postal code or what the locals like to call a sugary, carbonated beverage, He is good. He is always good. I change. My thoughts change and my feelings change. I grow and experience life in new ways every day. But He never changes. His love never fails.
And finally, I want to extend a thank you to those friends who wrote me. Once, twice or religiously, many of you sent me your friendship signed and sealed through the Postal Service (or what some of us affectionately and appropriately called “the Pony Express”). Even though not all those letters made it across the Rockies and up the Greensprings Mountain, I loved and cherished every one. Thank you.
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully.” 1 Corinthians 13:12