i’m in heaven

I’m back on the swing again on the porch looking at the peaks – I don’t want to be inside because I’m so excited to be able to be outside where breathing is free and sweat, unnecessary.

On the shuttle from Phoenix to Flag – I couldn’t see enough of the cactus – the cartoon-like-ones that leave you wondering if the road runner would appear on the scene at any moment.   I imagine my posture was a little like my four legged friend when he’s on the trail of chipmunks and squirrels.   In the van, I kept turning and twisting around to look out this window and then that one and back again to this one.   My eyes couldn’t take it all in.   Oh the sheer excitement of wanting to miss not one of those armed catcus.

As we drove through city, I noticed the palm trees…   my first time I saw a live palm tree was on par with seeing the cactus.   For me, it’s a marked moment to see things that have been held captive on the screen, grounded in real life.

I actually thought to myself: palm trees and cactus in the same place – I’m in heaven.

I’m in heaven: I’ve had that thought several times over the last four months when I stand back and look at my life — it’s the “pinch me I think I’m dreaming” sort of thought.   Followed shortly by the subtle fear that I’ll wake up very soon and heaven will be gone.   Because heaven is a place we go when we die, right?  Because good things don’t last here on earth, right?

I suppose I could choose to believe that still.   I suppose many still do.

But I choose to believe that heaven can be found here on earth – heaven is growing here on earth.   the kingdom of heaven begins within me – begins here in the wonder of monsoons, cactus and palm trees; in the peace of peaks, wild flowers, decks and swings;  in the love of friends so close to be family and family so close to be friends; in the joy of first birthdays and fresh, clear air; and in the faith of new calls, new jobs and new sights.

I choose to be part of the ushering forth of a new heavens and a new earth – all things new, beginning with me.   I want to be part of making more heaven on earth, of shrinking the great divide, and of offering hope amidst debt, joblessness, confusion, destruction and heartache.

Honestly, I think I fear acknowledging heaven on earth because to do so would mean I have something to lose.  In doing so, I  acknowledge my desire for goodness, for beauty, for things to work out – I acknowledge my own scars as well as the need for something more.   And all this is to be vulnerable.  And to be vulnerable is to be hurt.

So I choose to not be afraid.  I choose to live in the uncertainty of sorrow mixed with joy; and of hurt mixed with love. I chose to live in heaven on earth because one day I will wake up from this dream and know that all is well, all is new and I am in heaven.