the birds and the trees


Yesterday morning I started to pack.

I pulled out my shoes and work shirts.  Collected my passport and flight itineraries.  And I started to feel like I got sucker-punched in the gut.  The feeling like when I drink too much coffee too fast; jittery, amplified, queazy.

I’ve never been a nervous traveler.

I can count on one hand the times in the past eight years that I’ve been away from my husband and kids and have fingers and a thumb left over.  This is by no means a complaint, just a fact.  These past years have been a season of building a family with my husband.  And can we just take a moment to pause and marvel at the fact that my youngest is turning 4 in a months time.  How?

So yesterday morning my head and heart began swirling with a conflict of emotions.  Excitement that it is next week I head back to Rwanda and the lump in my throat over the fact that I will be on the other side of the globe from my people.

Then I thought about trees.  Why do they speak to me so?  I thought about the fact that this season in my life is me as the tree.  I am the steady one, the rooted one, the established one.  Even if I often don’t feel like all those adult things most of the time.  I am the one with branches for my growing littles to land on, nest in, be sheltered and protected in, and learn to fly from.  This is my gloriously wonderful role right now.  So my thought was, maybe it feels so oddly stunning to be the one going right now, because trees don’t have wings.

Somehow that mental image really calmed me down.  I didn’t feel a sucker-punch to the gut about leaving.  I felt the gift of a tree having wings.  Something rare and special and really quite unexpected.

  1 comment for “the birds and the trees

  1. Andrea Melius
    May 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Sweet words Hannah. You still own 2:14 pm every day. Let know how I can pray specifically. I will be praying for the flying tree and the birds left at home. Love you.

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