momentary carbon stories. . . life is here now, breathe it all in
I Am Mountain, Michael Gungor
Driving through slush and leftover salt and sand this week I was reminded of my first visit to this little town that is now all wound up in my heart.
It was early March, not a particularly beautiful time to visit anywhere in the midwest. I was driving down with my sister and then boyfriend Daniel to see where he was going to be living and working. We'd both agreed to wait to get engaged until he landed a firefighting job with a real fire department so though I didn't have a ring on my finger I knew I'd be living and working here too.
I was drinking it all in: industrial, slush, grey, foggy haze, frozen river, roads, brick buildings, old, old, very old. We found an overlook to look at the bridge and the river and I was overjoyed because I was with him. The smoggy lil town didn't impress me much at all but I didn't care. I was in love.
Daniel took me and my sister for lunch at the very worst Chinese restaurant any of us had ever eaten at; it closed soon after. He showed us around MFD, so happy to finally be back in his firefighting happy spot after college and half a year of full time paramedicine.
I never even thought about the less than ideal conditions. I learned soon enough that it would be hard to choose a less picturesque route than my first impression introduction; but I didn't care. My rose colored glasses firmly in place, I looked forward to building a life with my boyfriend --> fiance --> husband.
Eleven years later we are here and this is home. We have loved well and laughed and built friendships and discovered parks and said goodbye as others moved, hiked in the woods and boated on the river, splashed in the fountains, said hello (and goodbye) to favorite antique stores,
bought a house,
bought a crib,
bought a car,
bought a truck,
bought a potty chair,
bought a van,
bought a cemetery plot,
bought another crib,
bought a trampoline,
bought $20 x 52 x approximately 11 years of Friday night pizza (that equals $11,440) (wow.)
bought a bunch of swimming lessons
paid a lot of overdue library fines
bought a bunch of girls night appetizers
bought soccer cleats
bought pink soccer cleats
bought some golf rounds
bought a bunch of beach towels and pool chemicals up the wazoo
and it all invests in making a home.
When I pour in. . . money or time or resources or love. . . it matters to others, yes, but it impacts me.
Investing, pulling out the stops, throwing your hat in the ring to a community and saying I'm in. . . sure, it (hopefully) benefits the community but it benefits you too. Belonging, loyalty, neighboring, friendships - they happen when you choose the rather risky investment of pouring time into people. People make up any community, no matter how large or small. People are the best part of our lives: how rich we are because of the relationships that have been built here.
I'm thankful I never had the opportunity to overanalyze my small town: because now it's home and I'm living this brief bit of life that God has given -- my momentary carbon story investing in my little corner of the world.
And it's so beautiful, when you choose to see.
In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.
where you invest your love, you invest your life
Mumford and Sons