On my 3rd birthday, I received a portable record player. It was my favorite possession for many years. I had my own little collection of records which included two of the special Walt Disney promo LP's that you could only buy at Gulf Oil stations when you gassed up your vehicle. I played those records over and over and had them memorized. One of my favorite songs was "Lavender Blue" by Burl Ives. Here are the words I know oh-so-well:
Lavender blue, dilly, dillyI never quite understood how there could be a "lavender blue" and a "lavender green" because my only experience with "lavender" up to that point was the lavender colored crayon in my crayon box that was a similar shade to the mum below.
If I were king, dilly, dilly
I'd need a queen
Who told me so? Dilly, dilly
Who told me so?
I told myself, dilly, dilly
I told me so
If your dilly, dilly heart
Feels a dilly, dilly way
And if you'll answer, "Yes"
In a pretty little church
On a dilly, dilly day
You'll be wed in a dilly, dilly dress of
Lavender blue, dilly, dilly
Then I'll be king, dilly dilly
And you'll be my queen
It would be decades before I was privileged to see lavender growing naturally and to see it through the eyes of the lyricist and understand why there is a "lavender blue" and a "lavender green".
This past week, Hubby and I have been away. We drove a total of over 1600 miles across some of the vast open spaces of the Western United States. And we enjoyed the blessings of seeing family as well as having a much-needed respite from the cares of everyday life.
When I was younger, my family drove through that same open country a number of times. It often seemed so desolate and boring except for one time when we were driving under the light of a full moon. I was awake while everyone else in the car was asleep except for my mother who was behind the wheel. In the light of the full moon, the terrain looked so different. I was mesmerized by the beautiful landscape and can still see it in my memory today.
As Hubby and I drove over the expanses this past week, I found myself seeing the terrain through new eyes. I saw the "lavender green" of the sage as it grew on the hills that reached up to touch the "lavender blue" of the sky. It was very striking... and beautiful. Interestingly, even though I had packed all my photographic equipment, I never broke it out once during the whole trip. I felt like a kid again just absorbing everything I saw and appreciating each moment for what it could give.
There is a purity in experiencing the world like that. It's cleansing and rejuvenating. It draws my mind to the things that matter most--my Creator and my family. And that is why He created all these things, so that we would have beautiful reminders of Him who is our first family. My heart is full and my gratitude is overflowing. As I step back into everyday life, I feel a bit "homesick" yet I am hopeful that the things I've experienced this past week will keep me buoyed up and strong, while also giving me the direction and purpose I've craved for the past few months.