Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Margaret, Swimming Holes, and Resting

I was commenting on a friend's blog the other day, and her post triggered the memory of an early twenty-something adventure with my loyal and fearless college roommate, Margaret. And I've been digging back through those memories and thinking about her friendship and my slow and lazy yet spontaneous and irresponsible life then.

With the perspective of a decade, I can see that I am an official adult today (as I type with my painted nails, in my khakis, on my office computer). Ten years ago, my brain would have exploded in surprise (and maybe shame) with the idea that I'm here and her. Ten-years-ago me had bitten off nubs of nails and wore saggy overalls with a torn right cuff from getting caught in my shiny turquoise bicycle's gears, and I would have either napped on our pastel couch or on the grass at some point that day. I drove a little blue truck of which I dutifully checked the oil levels and which fishtailed turning most corners and with which I would (hopefully remember to) go pick up Margaret or others from their classes on campus.

Margaret herself is an official grown up now with a husband and baby and home, now (allegedly) hooked on Montel instead of the VHS tapes of Selena and Never Been Kissed and Bad Boys. Incidentally, I think those three movies sum up a lot of what I remember about her. (I don't know how it came up, but Carter told me awhile back that he had never seen Selena, and I really couldn't believe it. Who hasn't ever seen Selena? Maybe it's not a common movie to have seen. I guess it's more of a girl movie.) And she might get mad that I put her picture and her name on the internet because she read in some forward that people will certainly steal her identity and attack her in a Wal-Mart parking lot using this information.

One spring day (maybe it was spring... I don't really remember, but that seems appropriate.), I planned a vacation for Marge and myself. Without her knowledge or consent, I packed a bag for her and one for me, and when I picked her up from class, I informed her that we were going camping. Now, I just had to do a lot of online excavating, but I found the campground where we went. It's called Krause Springs, and I think I read about it in Texas Highways or Southern Living or Texas Monthly or some magazine my parents had on the coffee table. The icing on the cake was that Krause Springs had/has a bonafide swimming hole and rope swing just a short walk from where we set up our tent.

I consider this road trip as one of the defining moments of my college days.

We spent the day floating in the water, taking our turn on the rope swing, and laying out on those rocks.

There were waterfalls. I'm not even joking. The place was like Eden.

Ironically, I was just thinking last night about how I wanted to recapture some of that old life. I want to learn how to rest again. I was a champion rester... and time waster. (Does anyone remember that Phish song that implores the listener to come waste time with the singer? I considered that as something of a college theme song.) I want to learn to wait and be still and, to borrow a somewhat new age-y phrase, to live a more meditative life again.

I've had some pretty intense plans for the future destroyed recently, and I'm re-thinking not just where I'm going next but the whole process of navigating that course.

"He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in the earth." Ps 46:9-10

I usually just focus on the one famous line, instead of taking it in context, and the context seems painfully appropriate right now. He has made me cease my warring and working and planning and striving. God "breaks... shatters... [and] burns" all of these violent, man-made implements for war, things used for domination and power and success. And after all these destructive things have been cleared away, I'm tentatively learning to be still again and recognize the power that can make such confident statements. I'm tentatively trying to step aside and sit back and wait and let this go where it will go. I want to live a still life and re-learn how to rest.


Kristi said...

I love this post, Beth. Great pic of Marge & Hannah and such a fun story about y'alls adventures. I hope you are able to find much needed rest. ;)

The Kelley's said...

I can really identify with this. And I needed to hear it today. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I was totally telling Paul about the same trip earlier this week! Maybe its time for a Krause Springs reunion! That was the best trip and life was so simple back then. We could pick up and go anywhere at anytime. I miss those days!