A few weeks ago, I had a really good day. My friend, Bradley, likes to take pictures. and he doesn’t take pictures alone, so sometimes he’ll call me and ask what I’m doing because he’s on his way to take pictures. And usually I’m busy. It’s just ended up that way for some reason. Until a few weeks ago when I asked what he was doing the following day and he said that he and his friend Daniel were going to be hanging out, taking pictures. So I did what I do and I invited myself.
Luckily they said yes, and I spent the day in the backseat of Daniel’s car, looking out the window at the trees and watching them take pictures of things. and we listened to Justin Bieber.
First we started at Crown Point, which has this really beautiful view of the Gorge. The boys took pictures of the Gorge and I took pictures of the boys and my shoes and a tree. #typical.
Our first waterfall stop was Latourell Falls, my favorite quick-fix for getting outdoors. When we first got there, I met two dogs and their owners and they were just wonderful dogs. I didn’t take pictures of them, but I wished I could take them with me. I found another huge leaf like when Phillip and I went hiking a few weeks ago, and I realized that I kind of have a thing for big leaves, I guess. They’re just amazing. If someone got married in the fall, it would be SO COOL to carry a bouquet of beautiful leaves, amiright?!?!
We made our way to Multnomah Falls, which is the kind of “big deal,” easily accessible, ultra tourist-y waterfall. My favorite part of going to Multnomah Falls is getting a coffee at the little stand there, which kept me company riding in the back seat. It kept my hands warm, too. and I saw the cutest little slug.
The clouds and the sky and the everything was really beautiful, and a few times, Daniel pulled over so they could take pictures from the car. It was interesting, just being parked on the side of the freeway with people zooming by while they captured ONE MOMENT that so many people were completely unaware of. How often do we do that in life? Zoom past moments people are completely enamored in.
At one point, they pulled over and we looked at these wonderful horses. Daniel convinced me to feed bread to the horses. I was scared they’d bite my hand, BUT THEY DIDN’T and I was so glad I did it.
Driving back to Portland, it was weirdly sunny but rainy. There was a rainbow. I looked out the window and I started crying. Because I’m super emotional sometimes, and suddenly I realized how deeply God had been REDEEMING things. Things like roads.
I spent nearly a year hiking off that freeway with someone who ended up hurting me, and for some reason those roads always kind of made my heart heavy. As I drove home from hiking with my friends, I would get caught up in trying to remember the feeling of riding in the backseat of his car, soaking wet, after we hiked in the rain. When he glanced at me in the rearview mirror and I thought to myself “I wonder if he knows I like him.” How different everything looked as I anticipated the end of winter and the beginning of spring, rebirth, new things.
And there I sat, looking out a different backseat at the same trees, and for the first time I didn’t feel that weight. I watched the raindrops on Daniel’s windshield and I felt tears fall out of my eyes, and I realized how safe I felt in the car of some guy I’d just met and Bradley, one of my most trusted and loyal friends. They treated me like I was okay; like I was enough; like I was worth having around. At one point Bradley said “that was a very Stephanie thing to say,” and I felt KNOWN.
God was in the business of redeeming that road.
Redemption: Deliverance. Rescue. Recovered.
I got the road back.
I got those trees back.
I got drives down the Gorge back.
I keep discovering little parts of me that I thought were gone, and I keep getting them back.