this is home

Dad's front hayfield looking toward the Simcoe Mountains.
Toward the Simcoe Mountains.
Sunset over Mt. Adams and Blockhouse Butte.
Sunset through the tarweed.
My happy horses, Splash and Drem.
Drem, my faithful horse and friend for ten years.
Horse silhouettes in front of Mt. Adams at sunset.

The mellow evening sun sinking toward the horizon, like a drop of blazing gold. The swish of long green wheat blades in the front hayfield. The red-chestnut glow off my horse's sorrel coat, the delicious scent of clean dirt and new leaves, the shrill of red-winged blackbirds in the marsh. All of this - this is home.

Mom tells me that Dad has already started cutting hay, and that the windrows were huge and fluffy with sweet-smelling, fresh-cut orchardgrass and alfalfa. All the fields are early this year, ready to be cut two or three weeks before usual. Then, of course, late-spring rain is always a risk, but it's hard even to hate the ill-timed rain when it smells so clean and life-giving.

These are the long spring days and frog-singing evenings that set my mind free to imagine instead of worry - to hope instead of stress. To contemplate God unfettered by worldly frets and disturbing headlines. To worship in perfect silence, with a song as simple as the very breath and heartbeat I've been given.

I think Heaven might be something like this.

Hallie Liening

Olympia, WA

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.