I love Kentucky. I feel so alive when I am here. My family moved here from Oklahoma the summer after I graduated High School. I lived here with them for about 5 months before moving out to Utah for school. My love for this place definitely has to do with the people I met here as well as the beautiful countryside. More than that though, I realized that I love Kentucky for the personal discoveries I had here.
Two of my favorite people that have become lifetime friends I met here. I visited with one of them last night and after driving down the 22 back toward home, I was pondering again how much I love this place. I love the easy, flowing, landscape with the gorgeous green hills carpeted with fields, wildflowers, and trickling creeks. I love the majestic thunder storms and the magical evening fireflies. I love the spatterings of wooded groves and abundant wildlife and the way the homes and dwellings are tucked between the hills. I love the unpretentiousness of the towns here, the way they are almost part of the land instead of dominating over it.
As I was day dreaming, following the swerving road that twists and turns along the natural curves of the land, I was struck, as always, when I came to the town of Crestwood. Suddenly, there between the trees, is the Louisville temple. Its a breathtaking sight, one that would be easily missed if you so much as blinked. To unexpectedly be wowed by the simple beauty of the temple never loses its charm.
Its a small temple, hardly any grounds around it, and shares the parking lot with a chapel which is just as small. There is only one row of parking spots separating the church from the temple and it is right there that I chose to park my car for a bit before driving on home. I love this spot.
I remembered back to a night, now almost exactly 7 years ago, when I sat in that very same spot. That moment was easily the single event that rooted part of my soul in Kentucky soil forever.
That night I had a mental, spiritual, and emotional shift. I learned what it means to truly heal and be healed. I knew what it meant to be released from the lonely darkness and sent forth with all the freshness of a free life. I knew how it felt to be loved eternally and against all reason. In the days after I discovered that, each new day offered its own promise of sweetness and hope. How I soared on that newfound knowledge!
It was a very poignant night. And I’m not ashamed to say that on the way home from that parking lot last night, I wept, just like I did that night years ago. I loved every tear. They represented the honest joy those memories and lessons brought to my life and reminded me that I can feel that way again.
Joy is so much more than happiness. I know that thanks to my lovely, green, Kentucky.