It's driving through lonely towns, watched over by snowcapped mountains; a patchwork of green and gold fields laid out beyond a pretty white house with a creaky front porch. It's the scent of western Washington moss and dew, whispering of walks down my grandparents' lane; the musk of clean horse and fresh grass and golden hay under the barn roof, telling the story of a twelve-year-old girl and a dream.

It's in the last rays of butter-yellow sun reaching across ripening wheat stalks while they dance and sway under a summer breeze, and in the startling quiet of a heavy purple sky bringing an imminent storm.

My heart reaches and grasps to experience these things, to know them with all of my senses; to smell, taste, feel every facet of this beautiful world, to be consumed ultimately by the glory and majesty of the Creator God.

This sort of longing, this desperation and nostalgia, has been part of me for as long as I can remember. I think I would feel incomplete without it, even in my moments of purest joy. I struggle to put words to it; perhaps that is why I have journaled and written and blogged for so many years... perhaps that is why I named this blog the closest all-encompassing word that I could find: the German noun sehnsucht. Even this translates clumsily to English, but C. S. Lewis may have put it best -

"An inconsolable longing of the heart for we know not what."

As Lewis said, I couldn't tell you exactly what object or end I yearn for. But I can begin now to taste the general scope of it - to recognize the bits of it that are loneliness for a Friend I've never seen, homesickness for a Place I've never been, and a general dissatisfaction with the incompleteness of this temporary earthly life.

There is more, and I ache for it.


Hallie Liening

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.