We’re back on Highway 2, the same road I’ve taken to the city and home for seventeen years. This time more than a quick trip to the city, we’ve crossed several state lines and driven a dozen hours to get back to the familiar. Back to the rolling hills laden with ripening wheat. The red barns. The roads named after farmers long gone, whose land still feeds and clothes their sons and grandsons.
Though they mark our nearness to home, I hardly give them thought. Hardly realize that I’m watching for Zeimer Road, now that we’ve passed Janett Road. I’m so fixed on getting out of the car, that I don’t really appreciate it all.
And then slowly my subconscious wakes up and I notice. It smells like home. I take a deep breath of the earthy, late summer smell. The smell of wheat turning to gold. The smell of land well loved.
I look over to my husband, weary chauffer, “You smell that?” I ask. “Smells like home.” He nods that it does. I smile. Home. I hardly know a word as pleasing.
But before we know it we’re pulling in to the garage and unloading suitcases and I’m doing laundry and feeding souls and life is back to it’s normal rhythm.
That is, until the next time I’m on my way home from the city. This time I’m alone, lost in my thoughts. I pass the Grange Hall where the straight as an arrow road finally bends.
Not a mile later, I smell it again. The familiar. The smell of home. I smile and think how much I love this place.
Then I realize, it’s ten miles sooner that I drink it in today. And I wonder, was I really so oblivious a few days earlier? Why hadn’t I noticed? Had it really taken my subconscious ten miles to wake me up? I’m vaguely bothered by the inclination.
My discomfort grows. I’m face to face with the fact that too often I sleep with my eyes open, blind to the glorious beauty of the mundane. Deaf to the miraculous melodies in the familiar. And worst of all, oblivious to the aroma of grace. I journey miles and miles without breathing it sweet.
And I know then, that just like the smell of home lingered in the air for ten miles before I finally woke up to it, His grace is all around me, abounding. It’s always there, even when all I breathe is the stale car air of the mundane.
The smell of grace hangs in the air, waiting to nourish, comfort and thrill. His blessings abound. And I, for one, never want to return to shallow breathing but instead daily partake of the wondrous aroma of grace.
1229. Sitting through an entire sermon
1273. Waves crashing, hearts talking
1301. The smell of home
1311. A year without any major health crises
1312. Baby girl on the way!
1324. Those who encouraged me to start writing again
1352. Sons reading Frog & Toad
1355. Pink and purple sunrises