“We came for salvation. We came for family. We came for all that’s good, that’s how we’ll walk away. We came to break the bad. We came to cheer the sad. We came to leave behind the world a better way.”
– The Avett Brothers
There is something about cool mountain air that I believe could cure almost anything. I don’t know if it’s because my grandparents had a chalet in the Great Smokey Mountains growing up or because I have a weird mountaineer girl trapped inside of my bleached blonde 100lb body, but I love the mountains. Not the tacky gift stores that surround them or the hustle and bustle the local towns promote. I love the mountains. I love breathing cool mountain air. I love sitting on rocks in the middle of a rushing river. I love rocking on a porch and overlooking the beauty and mystery of an unknown world that is much greater than me. I love wearing no makeup and sweatshirts. I love digging in a cooler full of sandwiches and fruit. I love after a long day of hiking cracking open an icy cold Coca-Cola and watching the sunset. I love the peace I find and the calmness they bring.
After I miscarried, with tear filled eyes, I looked at Jon and said “I want to go to the mountains. I want to go now.” Though we didn’t go immediately, we finally made our trip this weekend. We stayed in a small but beautiful cabin, spent our nights eating good food, and watched basketball after a long soak in the hot tub. It was glorious. We spent our days hiking. All.day.long. Those who know me would probably snub their nose at the thought of me in hiking boots and making a stop at REI to shop, but it happened. And I loved it. I bought hiking boots and a backpack. I wore old sweatshirts and I tucked my jeans in my boots. I looked like absolute crap and it was the best time I have ever had. We made cheesy pictures with the trailheads and even bought a hiking log to track our mileage. There were many different aspects of hiking I fell in love with this weekend but more importantly I fell even more in love with my husband and my heavenly Father the further we hiked.
Jon and I are not the make out in public type. We never have been. But for some reason, the deeper into the woods we traveled, the more we held hands. The more we laughed. The more we talked. The more we stopped to look at the mountain views and the more we just looked at each other. We hiked up a trail that leads to a 75’ waterfall on our last day in the mountains. It was warmer that day and we were sweating as we made the climb. We never stopped a single time on our way to the falls and oddly, we didn’t talk as much on the way up. We just kept breathing harder and hiking on. There were tons of people at the falls when we arrived and we found a place to sit down and rest. Ironically, it was on the edge of the waterfall. Jon pulled me close to him and gave me a kiss in front of everyone there and we sat in silence as we listened to the water rush over the rocks.
As I sat at the top of that waterfall and looked down, for the first time in a long time I felt brave. I felt hope. I felt like we had accomplished something big-something good. I felt like I had found something real, something that I loved. I felt God’s presence all around me like a big hug as if He was saying “You did it. You can do it. And you’re going to be okay.” I stared into the sunshine and took deep breaths of misty air and watched everyone around me laugh and play and take pictures. We didn’t stay long but before we made the trip down the mountain Jon grabbed my hand and asked to pray with me. He prayed a sweet, simple prayer asking God to watch over us-and especially me.
Walking down the mountain Jon and I talked about hope. We talked about having another baby one day. We talked about baby names we liked and what names we could use so I could use monogrammed items as hand-me-downs. We talked about adopting too and how the thought of adoption has stirred in both of our hearts for a long time. We laughed. We stopped to take pictures. We held hands-tightly. And the bottom was as sweet of a reward as the top. Jon looked at me with a smile and said “Life goes on” and it does. Earlier that day we listened to the Avett Brothers on the radio. “Salvation Song”-one of my favorites- came on and as I was singing along Jon looked at me and said “That’s what we came here for: We came here for salvation. We came here for family. We came for all that’s good that’s how we’ll walk away. We came to break the bad. We came to cheer the sad. We came to leave behind the world a better way.” When I got back in the car from climbing to the falls I was reminded of what he said and began to realize the significance that song had for our trip and especially our time at the falls. I know that dealing with miscarriage is something I will always have to face. Not every aspect of this past weekend was perfect. I still struggled every day. But when I sat on top of that waterfall, I cannot explain what happened other than God was there. He held me. He comforted me. And I realized even on the edge of a waterfall, out of my comfort zone, on a mountain I had climbed with tired sore muscles, I am safe in His hands.