Once upon a time there was a married couple who preferred, despite everything that demanded their attention or pulled them in different directions, to be together. They were so connected with each other and so happy being together that sometimes others really didn’t understand. Sometimes others, even their immediate family, didn’t always understand or misinterpreted what they witnessed. One of their pastors got upset with them because they had no interest in talking to their pastor individually. He thought that they would feel freer to speak if they could talk privately with him. They thought that nonsense — they belonged together. They were joined at the hip. They were joined at heart. They were connected by the ways they thought, by a commonality of vision for what mattered, the struggles and losses endured, the faith they shared, the love that deepened through time.
They were joined by their past and their future, the children that lived, the child they lost. They were joined by the hardship of war, the uncertainty of tomorrow, the times of privation when the mail brought no letters, the times of bounty when the mail brought two weeks worth. They were joined by both the dreams and conflicts that grew out of the families and places they loved and the times they lived through. They loved time away. They shared a love of escaping the confines of the flat town in which they lived, for the rolling hills in the southeastern part of their state. They loved escaping their work and routine for dreams of building some kind of getaway in those hills.
They bought an acre of land and poured over cabin and house plans. They alternated between wanting an A-Frame Cabin and wanting to build an octagonal house. They enjoyed the view of the horizon from their hill. They decided on the perfect spot and would lie down in the grass and enjoy the view of the creek at the bottom of the hill, and the sun on the hilltops with an amazing 180-degree view.
Not all dreams are realized in this life. That particular daydream was not. It did not lessen their enjoyment of it. Sometimes we see the unrealized dreams of others and think what a sorrow it is that it never came to fruition. I don’t.
I believe in the old stories. Our stories don’t end when our lives do, or when our words are stopped. The great author of our lives speaks a word that breathes life into us which opens our eyes to the hills again. There is love in the hills.