Thursday, January 19, 2012
The past few mornings, it's been difficult to get going. Canada is officially in the throes of winter and Saskatoon, particularly, is in the deep freeze. Darkness, -38 degree weather and no school buses have combined to make for early mornings, extra runs out to the vehicles to ensure they start and driving the kids to and from school...which yes, if you're wondering, is still in session regardless of the temperatures. To be fair, it's been a pretty balmy winter so far which I think has made this sudden plunge to sub zero particularly jolting.
The other night, we had Jason's Aunt Margie and her friend, John, stay with us on their way through to Alberta. They are in their later years (not mentioning any numbers) but so amazingly vibrant. We were talking about their travels and they mentioned that while in New Zealand, they had bungy jumped in Queenstown. The same bungy jump that I took the chicken exit on while there when I was 19! So, while I'm not going to mention numbers, let me just say that they are old enough to have been able to bungy jump for FREE. Humbling to say the least in my quest to be more adventurous. While they were here, I had to run out to a meeting with a good friend I used to share an office with, Cathy. We met up and made a plan for her to join us in Africa in the last few weeks of our time there. I came home so energized and positive about life and adventure and this whole crazy thing we've decided to do. Later that evening, before we fell asleep, I mentioned to Jason that talking with Cathy and John and Margie that I felt like it was such an encouraging night and that I felt so good about what we were doing. His response? He felt like we were nuts. And, that, in a nutshell, is how things are going these days. We live in the tension between adventure and sensibility, the logical and the lively, the practical and the possible.
When I get to the point where I just don't know which way is up anymore, I retreat to a little corner of my room where I have my chair and lamp and letters from Zambia and I remember why we ever thought this was the way to go in the first place. There's are some photos beside my chair of Eva and Annie, a clipping of a father in Somalia cradling his malnourished son in the dust of a refugee camp and a particular photo that lately has become my inspiration. It's a small girl whose name is Marg. It's a photo of her and her baby brother, Caith, at the feeding point in Mulenga. She carries Caith on her back to bring him to the feeding point and he's a lovely baby, big and beautiful, and large for her small frame to bear. She brought him everyday while I was there and she prepared her plate of food while carrying him and then, at the time of the photo, she swung him around to sit on her lap and fed him off of her plate. She's perhaps 10 or 12, it's hard to tell, she's small and slim. In the photo on my wall, she's looking deep into the camera with Caith's lovely round face beside hers and to me, it reminds me that there are children taking care of each other that need someone to say that they care. The careworkers in Mulenga are amazing, and they deserve someone to stand with them and say, "We're with you. Keep going. We are together." So that they can keep pouring into these kids' lives and show them that they are not alone in their day to day difficulties.
This is one of those days that I have to believe that all these loose ends are going to finally tie themselves together and allow us to go. I'm choosing to believe that it's all coming together even though right now, it's looking like the pieces of the puzzle are scattered across the table, some aren't even right side up at the moment and one or two may have fallen to the floor. The picture is barely coming together and we've lost the box for reference right now. But, what I do know is that we have a place to build the puzzle, and that the outer edges are starting to take shape and we just keep filling in the pieces that are easy to fit.
I hope that in a few weeks, it's going to resemble something recognizable and we'll be able to fill in the rest of the holes along the way.