Oct 20, 2008

Time and Space

Carolyn and I escaped for the weekend. It was the first time we have had a weekend without kids since Wyatt was born, 7 years ago. We needed it.
A few months ago, we heard that our church would be hosting a marriage retreat. We both knew it was an impossible dream so we let the announcement slide in one ear and out the other, but a few days later, Carolyn's mom suggested we go. Then, she offered to watch our three children during the trip. Carolyn didn't hesitate for a second. So last Friday we dropped off the girls and left instructions for Grandma to pick up Wyatt from the bus stop and we headed off to beautiful Lake Tahoe.

We stopped in a small gold town on the way (Placerville) and had a nice quiet lunch at a place that didn't serve Mac-N-Cheese or french fries. Then we strolled through a half dozen antique shops and used book stores before finishing the drive through a breathtaking pass and into Lake Tahoe.

The events of the weekend are ours, but, the experience and lessons learned are crucial to our journey, so I'll share them. We had time, unhurried time. We had space, unlimited space. The combination of time and space has synergistic power bordering on magic. We spent the time laughing, dreaming, loving each other. We enjoyed the space with our eyes and ears, we felt the wind in our face and the cool water on our feet and hands. We sat, unhurried for an hour on the shore watching the weather and a few birds and drank in the precious gift of nature that God has given us.

I know that many of our friends do not believe in God, which I respect. But, I (personally) cannot accept that there is not some creative being behind the beauty of the place we saw. I refuse to believe it was an accident. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe ignorance is bliss. But either way, I think there is a lesson in this. And, since I believe God is behind the curtain hoping that we (human beings) would see how wonderfully He/She loves us, the lesson has eternal value.

We need time. We need space. We have had neither in a very long time and our marriage, our kids, and our souls have paid dearly for the lack of both. This life we live is really very short and there is a lot to do, but, what is any of it worth if we don't stop once in a while and simply enjoy? I often get so busy doing that I stop living. When that happens I can fall into deep depression in a heartbeat. I need time. I need space. But this is doubly important with Carolyn and I. Our relationship suffers when we don't have time and space together. In turn, our kids suffer. Everyone around us suffers a little as well.

Simplicity finds its fulfillment in the wise use of time and space. A simple life is an open life, a life of freedom. What have you done lately to find time and space?


nea said...

i feel very much the same, despite not believing in god. point is, it doesn't matter ones beliefs...we do need time and space to enjoy what is around us, each moment. it is when my husband and i start getting grumpy with each other that we realize we need a date! and we were in gold country last weekend. in fact, on 49, i wondered if it were nearish to you and wished we could have stopped to enjoy some kind of old time festival that was happening in coloma.

Matt said...


You were very close indeed. Next time, please let us know. We would love to have coffee or a meal and share in the joy of community.


nea said...

it is a beautiful area! thank you for the invitation. what was the festival, do you know?

Matt said...

I think it was Gold Rush days. They set up camp and re-enact the Gold rush. There are a lot of fun activities and a few good history lessons for the kids.

bottomland said...

Thanks for this wise post, Matt. I am certainly in need of time and space in my life, both personally and in my marriage. Thanks for the reminder.

stumble-tripping feet said...

I LOVE Lake Tahoe and spent three weekends up there this summer, camping at Fallen Leaf Lake. I just found your blog and am enjoying it thoroughly. It sounds like you live somewhere close (we live in Auburn) so I wonder if our paths have crossed.