the northeast.

i'm not sure if viriginia constitutes the northeast - but it's at least mid-atlantic. but for my purposes, virigina constitutes the northeast. do you know why?

because THIS is a definition of the northeast. and i just passed one in route to richmond. i immediately felt at home. now, if you don't have any idea what i'm talking about, then this will not make a ton of sense, but i will try. so a more universal SIMILAR example of a wawa, would be a 7-11. BUT, 7-11 does not compare to wawa - or, "the wa" as it is affectionately quipped by those who hold it so dear. why are wawas held so dear? let me explain.

while i grew up around the wa, i did not find how truly euphoric of an establishment it was until i was at seminary. we had a wawa just one block from campus. first of all, their coffee. oh, their coffee. more flavors than you could imagine at one place - original roast, dark roast, irish cream, hazelnut, and on and on. simply wonderful. second, would be their amazing sandwich counter. i LIVED on their tuna salad subs while i was at seminary - particularly while i was a vegetarian and our caf's definition of "vegetarian option" was mushy vegetables, or some mushroom-concoction.

anyways - it's a beautiful place. should you ever pass one in your travels, and have yet to experience the wa, PLEASE do yourself a favor and have a cup of coffee and a sandwich.

but i'm gaining miles toward the end of my road trip. i'm winding down by visiting some good friends in viriginia before arriving at my brother's in NJ on sunday. last night i spent the evening with my friend dwight - who was an advisor for my youth group when i was in high school. we made a great connection, largely through guitar-playing, and have kept in touch ever since. and now HIS kids are 17 and 21 - so crazy. it was fun to catch up and share about life.

i had a long drive from florida to virigina - about 16 hours worth of many miles. and i was often overwhelmed by this feeling of being free - free from any regrets or baggage from a challenging job that i left in CA - free from being anxious about what might be next (or WHEN what is next might come along). it's been really amazing. i sensed it most this morning on my drive from the norfolk-area to richmond - and i remembered the song "i feel free" by cream and i popped it in. it's starts off with this great 3-part a cappella intro. have a listen - the clip on iTunes has the intro in it. but this feeling is great because i don't have a problem trusting the long run of things in my life - but i usually have a really hard time trusting in the shorter term things - like when i'm unemployed and not really sure what might be next. i would normally be super-anxious and freaking out right about now - especially being only a couple days from "settling" back somewhere, and reality will undoubtedly hit.

but i'm really taking in this feeling - feeling very blessed, and feeling god's grace in it. because i know that i'm taken care of. i'm in the church hill area of richmond right now, and i just walked around the historic st. john's church, and saw this on one of the gravestones there:

"Be thou obedient unto death, and i will give thee a crown of life."

and i can breathe easy - because i know that is all that god requires of me - to be lovingly obedient.


Lindsay Z said...

i felt that same 'coming home' feeling when i saw the first In-n-Out of my trip somewhere between leaving Arizona and entering Las Vegas.

Lindsay Z said...

and i just found this picture that i thought i'd share with you

suz said...

it's good to catch up on your adventures Peter! I appreciate your reflections on the tension of present vs. the big picture.

Maybe we can hang out if you're still out east? We're moving to the Philly area at the end of July.