I've had another one of those "missing Chicago" days. They come and go, but today was slow and sunny and involved lots of driving, and I craved a city walk with an Argo tea in one hand and my husband's hand in the other.
The missing began around 5:15am when Shawn left for a meeting in Knoxville, and I never really went back to sleep. I finally got up around 5:45am and headed straight for the garden. The sun was rising and the dew covered my bare feet. I was still waking up as I surveyed the growth, looking for ripened fruits to prepare for lunch, when all of a sudden, I heard a whimper. I froze and listened intently, hoping to hear it again. Another whimper, and it sounded even closer this time.
My first thought, embarrassingly, was that a kidnapper was in the woods making the sound to lure women into his trap. Thankfully, not the case. (Why does my mind even go there?)
I looked around for the source, and within a few seconds, saw a coyote emerge from the woods about 100 yards away and stand statue-like, staring cold in my direction. The whimpering must have been her pup who stayed in the woods, but I didn't stick around long enough to find out. I eased my way backwards into the house about 100 feet away, all the while transfixed on the coyote, who was equally transfixed on me.
Some of you may be imagining this scene and how you would savor the National Geographic moment, but I'm just not one of those people. Maybe I would've enjoyed it a little more from inside my house, I'm not sure.
Either way, the experience prompted the Chicago-missing and it hasn't left all day. Don't get me wrong - we are very much enjoying our time in Franklin: going barefoot most of the time, hopping around Farmer's Markets and thrift stores, being near family. I think the hay bales, the "horse for sale" signs, and the farmers who wave to me are so charming. It often feels like we're in a movie.
But I have to admit... the city girl in me just won't leave. I think Shawn's got a bit of city in him, too.
We miss walking everywhere, the pulsing energy of the city, the diversity. It's where we're both comforted and inspired. I know we may be in the minority preferring the city over the gorgeous country, and we often hear the criticisms: "But it's so expensive. And overcrowded. And dirty and dangerous." Those are the people who have never lived there, though, I can almost guarantee it.
This is sounding like a lament, which is not what it's meant to be. We're just simply coming to an understanding that we prefer the city (and will almost certainly live in one when I finish school), but we are trying our best to be content here in this beautiful country that surrounds us for the next 2 years.
In either place, though, I cannot deny that we have been blessed beyond what we deserve.
Missing: making banana bread for Pops and hearing his wisdom.
Missing: all 6 of these amazing people.
Missing: the lake and the incredible skyline (and Erik & Shans, of course, but they're in Vancouver!)
Learning: to love our life with a different backdrop.
Thankful: God is with us wherever we go.