Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Flashback: Leavenworth in May

After five years of living in Washington, I have to admit, I still initially shudder when I first hear "Leavenworth." I lived in Kansas for seven years, long enough to realize there is a reason to shudder when you hear that name. According to the Kansas city's website, "Leavenworth and the word "prison" have been synonymous through the power of the silver screen throughout the years. "

Leavenworth, Washington, though, should evoke the opposite reaction. In the 1960's, in an effort to bring back industry and commerce to their nearly extinct town, community leaders forged a new look for the entire city, creating a charming Bavarian Alpine destiny in the middle of Washington.

You drive east on the Interstate until your feet feel like dancing a polka and you have the odd desire to yodel into the hills.

Sometimes I felt like belting out, "The hills are alive, with the sound of music," but since I sound like Julie Andrews after throat surgery instead of prior with her gorgeous four octave range, I just let the music dance around in my head for a few days.

What it did cause me to do was worship my Lord and Savior. Mountains always evoke this response in me. We easily give honor to creation, but should we not give honor to the Creator of these awe-inspiring views?

Amazing Grace, Beka-Boo and I were guests of good friends, Barbie and Melissa, celebrating the end of our homeschooling year. Fifteen down, twelve to go, but who's counting? Barbie has one year left. She's counting down! We love homeschooling, but it is a lot of work.

My favorite high school teacher, Mr. Nowatzki, did much to encourage my writing and photography skills. He arranged a day trip with an accomplished photographer friend of his, Joe M. I can't remember his name, but I remember what he taught me. Instead of including the full scene, focus on one detail that captures the emotion of the place.

I could have stared at this log for hours. Except, the other four were there, probably thinking, "Yea, cool log, Mindy, let's GO!"

Aren't there many beautiful shades of green? I loved the symmetry of the trees growing in a clump.

Washington, green, flowers...

So instead of a picture of a tree, you find a detail that can define the tree in partial detail.

Rebekah loves to leave the mark of her heart everywhere. She loves to draw crosses and tell the world, "I Love Jesus." What a response. She loves, because she learned as a young girl how much He loves her. John 4:19, "We love because He first loved us."

We loved this little town of Cashmere. We touristed our way through the streets and ate at a local diner.
My second favorite spot of the trip. While the rest of the girls waited in the car, I soaked in the old stone buildings and the railroad tracks, feeling the history of the city as I crouched near the creosote soaked ties.
While I tried to capture this moment digitally, I wondered how many people from this little town long to get out....long to leave the slow pace of their locked-in-time town. Do they gaze down the tracks and long for the hustle and bustle of city life experienced on the other side of those snow-capped Cascades? Do they feel blocked in or securely peaceful?
Do they know that some of us living on the west side of the mountains look to the mountains and beyond as our escape from the frantic metropolis pace that demands your whole being for survival? We envy the slower-paced life beyond those peaks, escaping for rest and renewal as often as we can before merging back into our rush hour lives.
Whether we look to those glorious peaks from the east or from the west, as our captivity or our escape, may we be renewed in the splendor of creation, and worship the Creator.

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