Two little boys, like tin soldiers abandoned on the dusty road, and two little dogs bounding at their feet, one white, one brown. A wheat field to the east, smoldering in the dusk, and swaths of curing canola to the west. Above: blue ripening to rose-gold, in every direction, unhindered by mountain or forest. And a farm, autumn spinning its wreath of trees into a golden crown.
My last glimpse was one I clung to until the last moment. I suppose I feared that in letting go I would lose what I found during my time away from the island—no, not found, but rediscovered. Surrounded by the people who know me and love me best—my mother, father, siblings, and husband—I rediscovered freedom.
I think it is easy to become an island when you live on an island. The world is smaller here, the horizon closer, more mysteries unveiled than not. And yet the sky above is infinite, as it is anywhere else. Discouraged by the boundaries enclosing me, I ceased glancing up to drink of the pure air pouring down from Heaven; my eyes slipped from God’s face. And when you begin to believe there is nothing more to discover outside yourself, your gaze will turn inward, like a wounded rabbit crawling into its warren, where the world is safe and dry but utterly dark.
Big skies. Timidly at first, I poked my head from my hole and peered out. When I saw my family beneath those big skies, delighting in the blue, the breeze, the sunlight washing over them, I realized they were safe, happy—and free. And I could be too. Not strong enough on my own, their love assured me that surrendering my fear would not hurt.
No matter where God places us on this earth—no matter whether my husband, our baby, and I are called to live on an island or not—I know that so long as I look up, I will always find my freedom.