Thursday, October 20, 2016

| stay forever, autumn. |


Fall is my favorite season, hands down. Something about the excitement of the change in the air, the falling temperatures, the accomplishment of having made it through three-fourths of another year, the harvest aspect of the season, the knowledge that Christmas is a stray handful of weeks away, makes it richer, at least to me, than its three colleagues.


some happy things from this month so far:

* hiking in the beautiful Sandia Mountains. The aspens and cottonwoods are in the process of transforming from green to yellow, and it's a glorious spectacle to behold. I want to climb to the top of those wooded peaks and camp there for a month- no technology, no distractions, just nature and me and God.

 not in the sandia mountains but this was fun. (obviously.)

* new beginnings, fresh starts, and feeling so much joy just at being alive, still (fairly) young, haha, and exploring new blessings God has been saving for up until now. Lately my heart has been happier than I ever imagined it could feel again, and that's Jesus, people. All the praise for that, belongs to Him.

A photo posted by Hannah Hopkins (@hannahellie95) on

* okay, this is so clichéd... but.... Starbucks fall-flavor lattes. Sorry, guys. I had to insert that. I feel this pinprick of guilt every time I enter the Starbucks and exchange four or five dollars for a coffee (mind, it's hardly a frequent occurrence) but those lattes are fabulous things, and I've yet to repent of a single one.

* my job, which, while exhausting, offers more rewards than merely the paycheck. It has had its tragic moments, the majority of which are comedic in nature, but it's splitting at the seams with unpredictability and endearingness. (blogger protests that endearingness isn't a word. Well, it ought to be, and I'm going to be a rebel and insert it anyway.)

* roasting green chiles. If you don't know what that is, well, mosey on down to New Mexico, and you'll acquire a fairly decent knowledge of it pretty fast. Also green chile peanut brittle is awesome, and so are green chile pistachio nuts, and so is any kind of food (almost!) with green chiles in / on it, and if I ever vacate the state, I will miss green chiles with all of my heart. ha.

* revival meetings at church, among other church-related happenings. We've been blessed with a fairly steady series of those in the past several weeks, and each one has been stirring and edifying.

* the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which, besides being a small carnival in its own right, has me saving up for a ride in a hot air balloon next October. Maybe that idea will be outgrown, but for now, I'm saving it on a spot on my imaginary bucket list.


* this quote: "What God is bringing you through at this very moment is going to be the testimony that brings someone else through. No mess, no message." *and truer words were never spoken*

* also this quote: "Writers don't choose their crafts: they write, in order to face the world." Anonymous genius who jotted down that concept, you are correct.

* doing crazy, happy things with fam, like random pizza with no notice, planning pumpkin patch trips, showing my skeptical brothers that, yes sir, I really am a competent driver and you don't need to say, "i'll meet you on the other side" every time I take off, and plotting prospective cross-country trips to visit friends. (SO hoping that will work out.)

Anyway, enough arbitrary thought for now. I hope everyone is having a beautiful day, and if not, as one of my friends says, have a better day tomorrow. :)

Friday, August 12, 2016

| these summer nights. |


(where are the pictures? I didn't feel like snagging one from pinterest, and the ones on my mobile phone are pathetically gritty. so guess what. you get to read the words and be content minus visual stimulation. haha.)


Summer. I don't know how to sum up this one. I wrote a blog post a month ago, but kept it stuffed in the drafts folder too long and when I wandered back over to the blogger dashboard and poked over the words again, they sounded lame. People say I write deep thoughts that aren't necessarily inspiring at times, so I shall adjourn from my generally melancholic and introverted self and provide the general public with something that doesn't quite deserve the adjective "heavy." I guess I could describe the sweaty, screaming volleyball games with the church youth, the curled up beneath a Southwestern sky last weekend, probably as close to a major fireworks show as we will ever get, (go Route 66) the disgraceful number of times we took advantage of Sonic's half-off evening milkshake policy and indulged under the stars, that time we drove down to Jemez Springs for some creek swimming, but had disastrous glass cuts within minutes from someone's previous beer binge, (it was . . . colorful? okay, that was morbid) the horseback rides in the Sandia Mountains, and I'm not sure what else to add to the collection of memorabilia.

Okay, I lied. I found a few half-decent shots on my phone, this one being from a hike a few days ago.

And this one from a mini road trip a week ago, to pay my respects to the decaying remnants of a major forest fire this past June. It's amazing how much a little heat can destroy, how healing can require all of a lifetime.

Though I'm thankful for my family and friends and road trips and fireworks and Sonic milkshakes and the like, I feel the most myself, alone under a sky quilted with constellations, listening to the crickets and cicadas and coyotes and other assorted nocturnal wildlife put the night to music, housecleaning my thoughts. Sometimes I bring my guitar or my mandolin outside and make my own contribution, which, besides writing, I enjoy more than anything in the world. I have scores of unfinished songs written up in my docs folder, though I doubt if anyone will ever see them. Which is perfectly fine by me. My mom finally convinced me to put some songs on YouTube, so I dug out my dusty little account and uploaded a few I plunked out in our garage, with my mobile phone as a recording device. My favorite song in the world is JJ Heller's "Love Me." Maybe because I possess a fetish for the melancholic. Maybe because the mournful flavor of the lyrics connects somewhere inside me. Maybe because the culmination of the song is the most degraded of humanity finally making his peace with his Father. I'd like to write a song like that someday. Thanks to the fifty-hour-a-week job I'm about to commence the day after Labor Day, (so long, lazy summer days) my time for such things is about to perish entirely, but I hope that there will always be a few moments in my life for a couple of guitar songs, a half-hour or so of letting my heart bleed into a keyboard, of exploring the quiet backwoods where the punk-rock beat of life changes to wind in the cedars and water on rocks, and remembering my Creator in the days of my youth. Which, mournfully enough, are expiring rapidly. I've never felt so ancient before. I can't believe I was a teenager eleven brief months ago. People say I have an old soul, and I've definitely been feeling that of late.

I love this song too:

"You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway . . .

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might never come your way
Dream it anyway . . .

This world's gone crazy
It's hard to believe
that tomorrow will be any better than today
Believe it anyway . . .

God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray, sometimes it don't turn out how I think it should
But I do it anyway."

That's enough for tonight. I even found another picture to leave with y'all.

Good night.

Monday, May 23, 2016

| she's a wildflower. |









Albeit, the first day of May found the red dirt layered with fresh snow, and the wrinkled buds had refused to show so much as a single shade of green, the current colors flourishing in the woods outside are tending towards spring. We finally invested in a volleyball net, situated it outside in a rare and much-nurtured portion of partially flat terrain, and usually between seven or eight in the evening someone wanders outside and manages to launch an impromptu game, which usually concludes in an assortment of sweat-stained clothes and hair packed with dirt and pine needles and a small sibling or two hollering out accolades for the victorious team. Young jade-colored growths are spearing through the decaying oak leaves, and the sunlight weaves a kaleidoscope of variegated shadows on the forest floor. The soil is currently spangled with wildflowers, and dozens of offerings from my little sister seem to have a habit of finding new homes in our room, where they produce a quaint country effect and a phenomenal amount of allergy-provoking pollen.

Such is the personality of spring, and every day seems to explode with an extra portion of beauty that the one preceding it didn't possess.

Life is still life, and I am still me, and the Lord is still the same, yesterday, today, and forever. I quit my job the last week of April and just last week received hire for a new one, and the change provided me with time to complete a fifteen-month project, the culmination of a private dream I always aspired to make reality, but lacked the necessary time and patience and inspiration. (more on that later) I slept in far too many mornings, brewed much too many cups of coffee for one rational human being (though the rational part is up for debate) did things with our church, with friends, and sometimes just by myself, which, for a solitary soul, is the pinnacle of therapy. I'm trying to cultivate less of a selfish attitude and give more of myself and my time to the people in my life, but after the sun sets, I obtain delight in finding a quiet piece of God's earth and just thinking. Life is so short. So serious. Lacking the time it takes to invest yourself in pursuits that won't matter tomorrow.

Which has led me to consider an adventure that, five months ago, couldn't have been more distant from my everyday sphere of thought. But, I'm not spilling the details. Not yet. Let's just say that this summer is going to be a special one, and after that? I don't even want to think about it sometimes. It's a terrifying thought even on my good days, but like my mom loves to say, "fear knocked, faith answered, and there was nobody there."

And today is beautiful, my family is eating strawberry pie in the kitchen and hoping I'll rip myself off the internet to join them, and life is a precious gift. Not one we dare squander, because one day, it won't be ours anymore.



" . . . we get so worried about being pretty. let's be pretty smart. pretty kind. pretty strong. "