I've written a few letters to myself here and there during my travels. I wasn't planning on sharing any of them, but this one kept popping into my head the last few nights as I've been walking home and blessed enough with clear skies and the full moon shining my path.
21 Feb 2014 4am
Dear Rachel: You're sitting on a plane right now, heading to Ireland. It's the middle of the night and while you wish you were sleeping, it's inevitable that every time you close your eyes your thoughts go to what the next five months are going to look like.
But putting that aside for right now, you look out the window and over the wing you see the moon. Seemingly not a big deal, but the moon represents so much to you. And it wasn't until this moment that you realized just how much.
First, it reminds you of family road trips. Each summer you'd climb into the brown striped ford econoline van, fold down the back seat to a bed and sleep as dad drove through the night. If it was a clear night, you'd stare at the moon as the trees passed beneath it and the quiet hush of the freeway would make your thoughts wander. You'd stare at it and dream of what your life will be like (usually involving the boy crush of the moment) and on the open road your life was wide open for the taking. Your heart would swell and you'd get a surge of excitement for all that lay ahead. The moon represented possibilities.
Second, it reminds you of laying out under the stars with Carly. You'd grab blankets, maybe some hot chocolate, and lay under the stars in the backyard hoping to see a shooting star or meteor. If the moon was out we'd talk about how small it looks and how crazy it is that it controls the tides and really keeps the world running. Often times you'd drive out to the beach laying silently in the sand listening to the crash of the waves and staring at the vastness of the sky. The moon represented feeling small and insignificant and the bigness and majesty of the Maker of all this.
Third, the moon makes you think of dad; you're not exactly sure why though. Maybe it's his love of the movie Apollo 13 or maybe because he appreciated the work of the Creator whenever he looked at it. But staring at the moon reminds you of the man your dad was. Almost 14 years after his death and still he pops into your head when you stare into the abyss of a clear sky with a shining moon. The moon represents nostalgia and what was lost.
Fourth, when you look at it now, you think of how the city life, especially in cloudy Seattle, has made you appreciate its presence all the more. Seeing it pop out between clouds every now and then and having that wonder return. Texting friends with 'have you seen the moon tonight?!' when it's particularly spectacular.
Now looking at it, all these feelings and so many more still make your heart swell with possibilities, the feelings of being small and nostalgic. Staring at a clear dark sky with the moon and stars represents the unknown and the overwhelming hope of what's to come.
It's magical, spiritual and an awesome sight. It makes you feel all the closer to the story God is writing in your life--the smallness you feel also represents the bigness of God. You feel open, free and excited.
Rachel, pray you see the moon over and over again. And pray these feelings continually bubble up when the bright white light is visible. Don't lose the childlike wonder of the possibilities and the feelings of being small. When you approach life this way, God works in wondrous ways.