We drive that stunner of a North Cascades Highway headed for our annual family reunion and the curious four year old grandson in the back seat peers through his car window while he volleys forward his usual plethora of questions.
What made the fire start that burned all the trees?
How did the fire get across the river to the other side?
Where does the water come from in that waterfall?
What animals live in this forest?
Which ones live way up on the top of that top mountain?
What makes the water so green?
And when there are still miles to cover, and he is DONE with the car, and he wants to BE there…..
Bapa, is this an off-road vehicle?
When the answer isn’t affirmative, his imagination describes the last of our journey if it were….
“We’d jump the river, zoom through the forest, rev straight up to the top of the mountain, then bump all the way down…. and we’d BE THERE!”
Now, three days later at the close of this family reunion…..I sit at the lake’s shore - the tea in my mug and the sweet birdsong bringing me and the day awake…..And suddenly, I am crying …. not simply from the beauty I sit in, but the realization that my heart is that off-road vehicle.
It feels giant-sized, super strong, unsurpassable!
Pumped by the relentless squirt gun battles, whiffleball games, soccer matches and gut-busting laughter. .....Revved from the catch up conversations with each beloved..... Set into a steady rhythm by the “signal-less” surroundings free of texts, emails, and troublesome news.... bumped into steadiness by the magic that is our history and years-long legacy, it is filled up and broken open.
It could jump a river!