This photo is kind of blurry, but so is my faith at times (most of the time). But I believe… in something. I don’t like to define it or talk about it to anyone other than myself and my God. But you know what they say, “Don’t talk about religion or politics.” So, let’s move on to some more photos of what I feel represents or speaks my reflections and thoughts on faith. Some background info: My mother is dying. If you have to label something — she has two brain tumors she has lived with for the last ten years. One is on her brain stem and the only is on her cerebellum (although I feel it should be in her cerebellum — we need a consult from Dr. McDreamy, ha ha). I have expected her to die since 2000 when we found out she had the tumors. But my dad died in 2003 from lung cancer and shocked us all, my mother the most. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery. He was a member of The Frozen Chosen. My mother told me that she wants to be cremated and buried next to my dad at Arlington. If that is possible, her plan B is to be scattered at sea (The Atlantic Ocean). She told me, “A simple tasteful ceremony.”
“Of course,” I said.
She is a one in a million. And my dad was a one in a billion. I’m one in a trillion.
I have Anne Lamott’s book, Grace (Eventually)- Thoughts on Faith. I brought it to listen to on the airplane. I haven’t listened to while I’ve been out here. I’ve just been too busy. I love Anne Lamott. She inspires me. I love her honesty and her words are beautiful.
I am at my most peaceful and inspired when I am in a nature. My father, Bless his heart, as they say in the South, was a deep man, with haunted memories of the Korean War, a broken childhood, a child born, not only the year of the crash, but the very month of the crash, October 5, 1929. He was a gardener and a poet. He was a night watchman for The Northern Trust Bank in Chicago.
I watched him watch nature while he took smoke breaks and he took plenty of them. Plenty. He would park that cig in a stare and think quietly, the orange amber hangin’ off the left side of his lip. He taught me how to observe. He was also a bird watcher; I think he knew their names and stuff. I think of him when I see cardinals.
When he died, I had no idea where he went. I’ll be honest. But I knew he went somewhere better. Somewhere he was at peace — with the war, with his sins, with his shame, with his secrets. He was at peace. But it took me years to get over the many bridges and interchanges of the highways and interstates of grief. He was a good man. He taught me how to find God in nature and in silence. I credit him with teaching me poetry, how to see it, how to spot it.
Faith is a curious thing. I see it in people, in trees, giant cottonwoods, open meadows with birds purring the song of a morning, and at sunset in the clouds and open sky of the West. I find faith in my heart. But I finally figured out I don’t need to tell a soul about it. My faith is for me.
This photo is my mother smelling the lilys I brought her in the hospital. She was discharged May 25. She went back to the nursing home a lot stronger and so much better and happy her whole family rallied around her to give her love and unconditional support She had a really bad urinary tract infection and severe dehydration. I drove up to Cheyenne, Wyoming to see my best friend’s baby boy. I stopped at the Terry Bison Ranch and had the best (and I can say this in all honesty) damn grass-fed buffalo sirloin. $24.99 and worth every cent. The veggies were seasoned and bright and delicious. Yummy mashed potatoes, Texas toast just perfect crispy and a green colorful leafy salad. A glass of Merlot helped wash that delicious meal down.
But before I had dinner, I took a lovely walk around the ranch and saw horses, new-born calves, goats, llamas, camels, peacocks, chickens, and a herd of grazing buffalo. Young little babies galloped in the field. It was a lovely afternoon.
The Terry Bison Ranch is right next to this sign. It’s off to the right.
So, back to faith. I find my faith in nature and I had the opportunity to take some photos during the glorious hour and half before sunset in Wyoming. Ya got to understand this straight away – you can see for miles in Wyoming. It’s a beautiful thing. Long shadows casting brilliant light. Before the sky lights up with pastels only God could create, you see the most brilliant light and shadows cast over the land. Nothing to interfere with its beauty. Just wide open spaces. I truly believe this is what opens people hearts up so wide — the space to see.
Here are just some of my photos from my afternoon photo shoot.
I leave you with my favorite photo from this little adventure, just over the Colorado border on Interstate 25.
memomuse is a writer living in the South. She is a cowgirl lost in the south. She loves wide open spaces and wide open hearts. You can follow her photojournalistic journeys on this website. She is currently documenting her mother’s farewell to this earth this week at this same website. Tune in — it’s pretty interesting. Journal Your Journey. She is also the creator of “The Original Journal.” Find it on facebook under “The Original Journal.”