A Home for a Restless, Wandering Spirit.

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A VG Serial: Jory Sherman’s Hills of Eden

Episode 39

As usual, I’ve been lost all afternoon. Lost in these Ozarks hills, lost in the woods, among the trees. My eye and mind on the clouds floating through the skies, the snow white thunderheads bulging like cotton boles out of a gunnysack, the gray clouds underneath, elephantine with rain. And, I’ve been listening to the gentle breeze sighing through the leaves like a kind of voiceless song.

Today, I’m camped down on Bull Shoals Lake, near Cedar Creek, Missouri. This is where I’ve been working for a time, where I’ve been walking and fishing and dreaming. But, I could very well be somewhere else, in another valley, another hollow, along the shore of another lake. I feel at home here, as I’ve felt at home everywhere I’ve ever been, be it Big Timber, Montana, the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, the Rio Grande or the San Isabel wildernesses in Colorado, fishing the Tongue in Wyoming, gazing at the Willamette or the Columbia in Oregon, swimming in the Russian in California, looking down at the Great Salt Lake in Utah, or following the Snake through Idaho.

But, there is something special about these hills and hollows in Arkansas and Missouri, something that reminds me of my place on this planet and in the universe. I’m drawn to them, lured by them, enticed by their gentle grandeur, their lush green trees, their wildlife. I have seen them through all the seasons for the past few years, become accustomed to the endless woods, the life and death struggle for survival among the denizens that roam the forests.

The other day two young deer romped past my camper, running from wood to wood across the road, their white tails up and flared like paramecium sails. And, I’ve seen the gray foxes at night, roaming the campground, ghostly in the moonlight. Two nights ago, coyotes came in their stead and they sang for me. I was the only one here and I think they knew that. They played under the moon for a while and then returned to the fastness of the woods, chasing after each other like a bunch of kids playing hooky.
It is peaceful here today, as it is most days. The campground is empty and I seldom hear the noise of a car. Such times are precious and present an opportunity to meditate, to sit quietly and just listen to the soundlessness in between the diurnal noises of birds and insects. In the vacuum, you can hear the voices of your heart, feel the yearning for home, not the earthly home, but the promised home, beyond this life. Oh yes, the yearning is there, always. It may be faint at times, but it’s a universal longing, a wish to be close to the Creator of all things, the Father.

The eternal questions form in my mind. And, the answers.

Who am I? I do not know, for sure. That is why I am here, in this place. To find out who I am.
Where did I come from? There is no easy reply to this one, for such thoughts are cosmic in nature. I can trace only a small part of the thread, back to the womb. But from where before that? And before that? I can say, at times, that I came from some eternal place. That I was always there and always will be. But such answers are based solely on faith and faith is small and fragile, often tenuous. I have a strong hunch where I came from, but I cannot prove it. Someday, I’m sure I will know.

And, finally. Where am I going? Again, the answer is difficult. It is enough, during these times of solitude, to know that I am going somewhere. I may have other stops along the way, but I feel sure that I will reach some final destination. And, perhaps, it will be where I’ve always been, only on a different plane.

Where am I going? Always, we are always going home. Home. The most beautiful word in the English language, say some. It is a word that resonates deep in the heart of every human being. Home. It is where we are, it is where we came from. It is where we are going.

I have a home here, for the moment. I have another home near a city. And, I have a home somewhere, for all eternity. So, I’m content to be in this home, for now. A home for a restless, wandering spirit, a place where a gypsy soul can camp and feel free while standing still for a brief moment in eternity. Home. It feels good to be home.

 

Hills of Eden will be published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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