Camping is about surrender.
That’s what I reflected on as I sat on my favorite rock in a valley of the Sangre de Cristo range of the Rocky Mountains on a recent packtrip with my dad. When camping, you wake up when it gets light and go to sleep when it gets dark. You talk, eat and explore with people who don’t have the same life experiences as you. You live multiple days without taking a shower, washing your hair or shaving. And you find out it’s all OK. You can surrender to a new routine; nature exists regardless of if we are there to witness it. It is not for us; we exist with it.
I like that.
I think home, too, is about surrender. It’s about being interruptible and putting a family member’s needs before your own. It’s about being OK with the mess people make when you invite them in. It’s about washing dishes, cooking a meal, sweeping up again and again. It’s a place to lay down our worries. A place to live for the other. A place to give up our wanderings and rest awhile.
In this issue, we focus on the word “stay” and what it means to create a home where we want to be, a home to welcome others into. We throw a dinner party at which five women cook food for us, providing a reason to gather with new friends and share a moment of life. We learn what “home” means to people of differing life experiences throughout our region. And we reflect on making intentional purchases and lifestyle choices, rather than being influenced by the trends we see on social media. We hope, through these stories, your life is enriched, and that you are moved to take steps toward others, inviting them in.
“Sangre de Cristo” means “Blood of Christ” in Spanish. The people who named this range of mountains noticed the way the sky turns red each morning as the sun rises, pink that reflected itself onto the insides of tent walls as I awoke, oily-faced and not quite ready to get up. Sun surrenders itself to give its light to time, and they co-create what we call day, say OK, I will shine for you. Maybe those explorers were reminded of their friend who gave his blood so they could live each day, too. Light lets the sky run red like blood. We wake up and live. Sangre de Cristo.
So yes, amen. Let us get up and live. For each other. With each other. Because of each other. We cannot divorce ourselves from what we love, and we cannot love what we do not know, that priest said, so let us mutually move closer to give ourselves entirely, spend our lives with that teacher that is surrender, learning we need much less than we think. Let us open our minds and hearts and homes to those around us. Let us be in what is unglamorous together, when the choice is not easy, and choose what is right. In this, we find love, the only thing that stays behind.
The only thing you’re taking with you.