Monday, September 04, 2006

lake ta ...oh!

Friday, September 1

I can't begin to describe the beauty. This picture will have to do while I dash around this afternoon running errands.

Back later with words.


Monday, September 4

I'll get to the heart-view in a minute.

The eye-view was this: Mountains. High-altitude pines with a scattering of giant cones beneath each. Winding, rise-and-dip roads. Cedar and river rock-adorned shops--many with black bear statues frozen mid-climb along stairways or standing in guard-pose in parking lots. And that lake ...

Nancy (my sister and assistant) and I took one mini tour from Carson City up along the north shore of the Nevada side on a quest for "Three Dog Knit," a yarn shop in Tahoe City. Because she drove our rental, I was free to irritate her with outbursts of "Look at that!" as we hugged the lake.

"I can't!" she'd burst back.

But I'd forget again by the time we turned the next corner and some other outburst-worthy sight would enter my vision.

I've seen rocks in water before ... but never rocks so big they made the people standing on them look like Polly Pockets. You have to comment on a thing like that.

And though I've seen many lakes in my lifetime, there's a particular beauty to this lake that renders you wordless at that same time that it fills you with a desire to speak. Nancy and I found our way to a lake-facing porch midway through the retreat. Our destination had been the gift shop attached to that porch, but when we turned the corner of the deck and saw a row of teakwood rockers facing the water, we forgot about shopping and instead claimed a rocker each and took to staring.

I flipped off my flip-flops so as to concentrate better, and tried to ignore the view of para-sailers and Sea-doers long enough to capture the right colors before me. For the leaves on the trees that adorned our side of the shore, I settled for honey and sage. For the water lapping below our feet, I could only think of emerald. It sounded lofty, but I soon discovered that someone else had settled on that word when they dubbed a portion of the far shore "Emerald Bay."

Up close, it's gem-green. Further out, it's deep blue. And when a boat drifts into view lugging a primary colored hot air balloon and the people who will soon glide upward in it, you feel like you're in an idealized painting come to life.

That's the eye-beauty. And as if that weren't enough food for our souls, God arranged a family reunion with women we'd never met before.

The women of Calvary Chapel Carson City are funny, sweet, noisy, and beautiful ... just like the women at our church. Nancy and I felt at home immediately. Kelly, the pastor's wife, is a kindred spirit. We even discovered that we both collect heart-shaped rocks (and her husband, Pat, found one for each of us before the weekend had ended).

Though it sounds cliche-ish, we laughed together; we cried together. But there's something in that cliche. Between the sharing of laughter and tears, hearts open and bonds form. Strangers become sisters. Heaven becomes more real, because you know that whether or not your paths ever cross again on this side, you'll have eternity together.

Almost as soon as the hellos and nice-to-meet-yous had faded, we were hugging good bye. As Nancy and I headed south for one loop around Lake Tahoe before turning for the airport in Reno, I replayed many of the conversations I'd shared with that group of women and thought about the vastness of this family I've been adopted into. What a gift the church is. It's popular to criticize the Bride of Christ and point out all her flaws. But she's beautiful to Him ... and to me, too.

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4 Comment:

At 9/05/2006 9:17 AM, Blogger Cathy West had this to say ...

It sounds wonderful, Shannon! I am so glad you were blessed by this visit, as I'm sure those you went to share your heart with were also blessed.

At 9/06/2006 9:43 AM, Blogger Sharon had this to say ...

Hi Shanny,
Loved this post.Been to Lake Tahoe myself(was born and raised in Sacramento so was fairly close).I too collect heart shaped rocks...and light candles at the first sign of rain or even just a slight chill in the air...kindred spirits we are... :-)

At 9/07/2006 12:49 AM, Blogger Kim had this to say ...

Loved this post. :) One winter, a few years ago, I decided to research the perfect place for us to live. I love the sun, Mike loves the mountains, we both love water. I searched stats on a few websites and we settled on Carson City. Right next to Tahoe, yet more affordable in Nevada. I've never been there, but it sounds wonderful.

I'm so glad you had such a great time.

At 10/31/2006 8:50 AM, Anonymous Pam D. had this to say ...

Oh, Shannon...how I have missed reading your heartfelt posts these last three months!! I broke my leg at the end of July and have literally been housebound for three months,without Internet. (I couldn't get out because I couldn't get down 2 measly steps to my garage.) Like you said in your post about your surgery though, God's been BLESSING me in this time off beyond my imagination...

Your post here about Tahoe is like a breath of God's grace to me today because God has dropped a gift into my lap after all this hibernation...a free trip to Tahoe! 5 of us old college friends have been trying to arrange a "sister" reunion for 20 years, and since one lives in Truckee, she has arranged a condo in Tahoe for us. Another one is giving me and a friend here free tickets from her frequent flyer miles. In the midst of my struggle to walk again, I wasn't sure if I could go...but then how could I turn down God's gift of such refreshing!
I'm finally up and walking with a crutch (and back to driving and work), but was just wondering today, "Lord, can I really do this trip in this condition?" Your post is like his voice telling me -- "I have prepared a beautiful gift for you and I will lead the way!" :)

I live in MI now, but grew up in CA near L.A. -- my family vacationed twice in Tahoe when I was a teen and oh how well I know those indescribable emerald and blue hues that go on forever! And how we would stop our car EVERY few seconds because we just HAD to take another breathtaking picture! Your glorious photo and words fill me with anticipation (and thanks to a FATHER who plans such gifts) for this trip today and I can't wait to share your post with a friend who is going with me...Thanks! I'm reading thru all your posts since my accident -- a delight!!


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