Sunday, December 8, 2013

Saying Goodbye

With this big move, this 2300 mile journey our family is about to embrace, there has been a lot on my mind.  Of course there is the logistics of getting a family of six across the country and keeping your sanity, marriage and bank account intact.  There's that.  But there is also the goodbyes and chapter endings.  There is leaving this beautiful state that I love so much. 

 Leaving these beautiful people, that I love so much.

For the last few years we've lived at the base of these grand, mountains.  The Wasatch Front stood outside our front window, ever greeting us good morning and showing us the moods of the seasons.  A happy, green summer, a hopeful spotted spring, a warm, colorful autumn, ushering in a mostly abrupt and unforgiving white winter.  That cold, lovely snow.  

Whatever the season, they were always there.  Unchanging and solid.  I've grown to love and respect these massive footstools of God.  I've hiked and ran among wild flowers and witnessed views that have literally (although terribly cliche) taken my breath away.  I've smelled cool earth as I've approached a mountain stream along a trail.  I've watched the peaks from my warm house as a storm rolls in over the range.  I've watched with dread, on scorching summer days, mountain sides on fire as a community prays over people and property in harms way.  I've lived in these grand hills.  I've lived at 6000 feet, where snow in May and October are totally normal and expected and the winters are brutal and unrelenting.  Snow and cold and frozen everything.  You curse the mountains and wonder why you made your home there.  Then, at 6000 feet, there is six weeks of perfect.  At 6000 feet, for six weeks in summer, there is a palpable perfection to this glorious and magnificent country.  The sun sets and it keeps you outside, on your porch, as the night becomes deeper.  You gaze up at the stars and there is a quiet stillness of only crickets singing about the night.  It's kind of magic.

These mountains are what I'm saying goodbye to.  Their constant, steady presence in my life.  I was born in their shadows and raised in their heights.  These mountains, always around.  Something I could look out my window and always see, be a part of, curse or bless, depending on the season.  They're always there.  My constant.  I always know which direction I'm heading, the familiar peaks my compass.

But, change friend.  Change is the only thing that's constant and it's time to leave my beloved mountains.  Of course I'll always have them in my heart.

Just like the faces of friends and family that have also been my constant, my compass, my blessings (or curse, depending on the season) and steady, presence in my life in such an up close and personal way.

While I'm grateful for the Internet and Steve Jobs who gave us magnificent devices to keep us updated and in touch, this is the end of a magnificent era for my family and life.  The chapter ends, but you'll want to keep turning the page.  We are set up for more adventures and more living and more blessings of a beautiful life, just like we've enjoyed here.

My soul is bursting but my mind is kind of empty with the words needed to convey how happy and heavy my Utah girl heart is about saying goodbye.  To my people and my mountains.  All I can say is thank you.  Thank you for the memories.  Thank you for the love.  Thank you for the influence and constancy.  Thank you for giving me a rich and meaningful experience here in my mountain home.

While I look forward to our next chapter with hope, adventure, and excitement, a piece of me will stay behind.  No matter where our journey takes us, you'll always be home.

Now send a prayer our way.  We're about to take three 3 year olds and a baby to the edge of the Atlantic. In roughly 4 days.  Wish us luck!


Steve Galley said...

Beautiful words about a beautiful place from a beautiful person. We WILL be in Boston to see you sooner than you think. We miss you guys already.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful. Thanks for a good cry. We have so many incredible memories among the mountains. Memories that have kept me going through some of the darkest days of my life. Without those memories I would not be the person I am today. Thank you Kara. Love you!

kara said...

Miss you Steph! Oh the seaside trails I have found here! Can't wait to run them with you when you visit...

kara said...

Steve. Cannot WAIT. There are so many different kinds of seafood I'm going to try and get you to eat!

Staci said...

Beautiful words. We lived far from home and the Utah mountains. The mountains in Oregon just don't compare. The best part about leaving is coming back. The first visit home we had endured 81 days straight of rain. 81 days of low hung clouds and endless darkness and gloom. But the minute I stepped off the plane and saw the blue sky, the weather and bitter cold was worth it. I think my time away made me appreciate the valley just a little but more. But honestly, I grew to love Oregon and left a little piece of my heart there. I am sure you will do the same. Enjoy this new place. Map out all you want to see and do. And if you end up back where you started, you will know you left a piece of your heart in your last destination.