I THINK THE TRAVEL BUG IS A COUSIN OF THE MUSTARD SEED

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I think the travel bug is a cousin of the mustard seed. Third generation, twice removed.

A friend of mine posted a picture from a place I’ve never been, halfway on the other side of the world, the ocean the color of a blue raspberry lollipop. And that’s when I felt it. The itch on my skin, seeping into my blood stream, swimming the butterfly through my veins, full force. I stopped, sighed, clicked through another picture of scenery unknown, breathtakingly haunting.  I want to go somewhere new. I don’t want to be stuck in one place forever, turning into a fossilized version of myself until I erode away into nothing. But I can leave. I’m the Little Mermaid after she got legs. I can go somewhere new. I’m not scared.  I want the jaw-dropping thrill of discovering and uncracking the unknown, taking me to heights only astronauts can reach. A star, the moon, poor demoted Pluto. A place that is not comfortable. That is not known. Incomparable. I want to check out from the familiar as if from a bed bug infested motel— fast. I want to be anything, anywhere else. The grass is always greener in a foreign place. I want the travel bug to take me somewhere new, again, again, again. A thrill I cannot get at home. I never want to stop this itch on my skin, in my blood, this sugar ecstasy— leave my jaw unhinged.

It reminds me of my stay in a hostel in Nova Scotia, where I learned there’s something magical about sharing the kitchen sink with complete strangers and washing an Englishman’s dishes.  And eating breakfast with a family from Paris and discussing our undying affection for Nutella.  Makes me want Nutella, but I digress.  And there’s the campfire, sharing s’mores and stories, meeting people I would never have a chance to meet in my everyday life.  People who left whatever it was they were doing with a hundred dollars in their pocket and traveled the world, this being a one night stop on their grand, soul-seeking, mundane-life-retreating, journey.  I listened to their voices, their excited eyes illuminated by the warm fire’s glow, the words “Let me tell you about the time I sailed the seas with my trombone…”  Made me want to write a poem about it all.  No rhyme.  Free verse.  Possibly epic.  Made me want to pack up with a hundred dollars in my pocket and travel the world. Broke by the end, but rich with stories. Wanting more, always wanting more.

But yet, here I sit. In Pennsylvania. My jaw closed.

Yet the blue raspberry ocean reminds me of you. And the mustard seed. You made our jaws with hinges for a reason. Sure, we can and should be in awe of your creation, but you want us to be more in awe of our Creator.

I want the mustard seed of faith to grow from an itch on my skin to seeping into my blood stream, swimming the butterfly through my veins, full force. I want to go somewhere new, learn something new, about You, with You. I don’t want to be stuck in one place forever, resigning to apathy. I want to be the Little Mermaid after she got legs twirling the Bible around singing “Look at this verse, isn’t it neat?!” I want the jaw-dropping thrill of discovering and uncracking your truths, taking me to heights only astronauts can reach. A star, the moon, poor demoted Pluto. A place that is not comfortable. That is not known. Incomparable. I want to check out from the familiar as if from a bed bug infested motel— fast. I want to be restless for You. I want to sit around a campfire, my excited eyes illuminated by the warm fire’s glow, the words “Let me tell you about the one time I put my faith in our almighty God…” Makes me want to write a blog about it all. No rhyme. Free verse. Possibly epic. Broke by the end, but rich with a deeper understanding of You. Jaw constantly unhinged. Wanting more, always wanting more.

Your child,

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