Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Also Where The Speed Limit Goes To 80 Miles Per Hour. Crazy Right?

      (photo taken by Allison Easley, August 2010)

With family in Southern California and Las Vegas, we do the drive between the Provo area and there quite often. By quite often, I mean almost once a month. I have driven this drive my entire life, what with my parents both having much of their families residing there my entire life. I was born in Bountiful, Utah, my parents went to school at the University of Utah and BYU, and Utah was also the place where I went to college (the short time I did) and where I had my first baby. It is also the place I had Lola, baby #6!

Utah has always been sweet to me. I loved the family of it all. I loved the weather of it all. I loved the spirituality of it all. Most of all, though, I have to say, is how much I love the beauty of it.

That photo up above was taken by me while I was driving a weird stretch of Interstate 15, right before you get to a place called Nephi. There are no exits, there are no homes, no buildings, no people. Occasionally you'll see a line of cows, trudging along a narrow trail, playing follow the leader with their heads down.  In the summers there are storms. Storms that crop up out of no where. Storms that turn a sunny bathroom break at a gas station into a torrential rain storm in seconds!

I come from pioneer stock. In Mormon speak, that means I have ancestors who crossed the plains from the east to come to the Salt Lake Valley, well over a hundred years ago. Being taught by my parents about my heritage was always something I enjoyed. I used to sing songs about pioneer children singing as they walked...and walked...and walked...and walked. I remember thinking that it must have been fun to be able to play outside all the time with their sisters and brothers, totally naive to the harsh reality of them also being homeless, newborns and grandparents alike, pushing and pulling every earthly belonging along a trail, totally in faith that at some point, there would truly be an end in sight that they could call home.

Lately, life's been tough. Life's been a trail, and a trial. It's been up in our faces, showing us that we're really not in charge here. Every morning I wake up and have a choice. Just like my pioneer heritage, I have a decision to make. I can get up and make it a happy day, or I can lay down again and cry.

Everyone who knows me knows that I lived in the desert when I was 15. At that point in my life, I thought it would be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.  I thought that for sure I'd never have challenges like that again! Ohhhhhhhhhh to be 15 again!

I hear stories of survivors all the time. I read about people who've come through things I cannot even fathom. I look at people around me and see their human traits, see their struggles, and my burdens are so light.

My mom made a comment the other day to me that I think about constantly. She is strong herself, a woman who doesn't express emotions that often, but when she does, boy I listen alright.   She said that the Lord only gives you trials he knows you can overcome. She commented about how strong my back must be to carry these things, and it brought things into perspective for me.  My burdens are light. They really are. These things we bear, they're given to us because we can take it.

Honestly, I can list a billion things that could be worse!  I really could!  It might take me a long time, but I'd sure give it a heck of a try!

Those rains come out of no where. They seem crazy and torrential when we're in them. They soak us, they make us uncomfortable, they may even ruin our most favorite dress, but surely, when we're standing back out of it a little way, when we're still close enough to smell the damp soil, you might just see something that takes your breath away with it's beauty.

We're trying to stand back and see it all right now. What we thought was scary and terrible is really just something that's shaping our landscapes.  2 weeks ago we were being drenched, and today, we're like that picture that I pulled over to take a few months ago up there except with less grass and stuff growing on us. Thank heaven, right?


Dani said...

Love ya!! :D

McLeod Clan said...

I live daily these days in the reality of the fact that the Lord never tries us above anything we can handle. Hang on to that my dear. The sun will come out tomorrow!!

@emllewellyn said...

One thing we learned very intensely this summer with my grandma is that you have to take things day by day-- in some cases, hour by hour. The strength builds up so slowly that you turn around after a few months and realize exactly how strong you've become. You got this!!

Amy said...

Great post. I needed to read it. You're mom's pretty smart.

Hope you don't mind me reading your blog.