A humid night in August
I sat outside this evening at a nearby coffee place.
Reading, journaling, writing sideways in my journal.
Adding color and images and words.
Thinking sideways thoughts.
On an emotional roller-coaster.
It was so humid that the ink on the pages of my journal spread, oozed,
and was absorbed into the paper in a strange way.
The effect of humidity. The effect of water in the air.
Eight and a half inches of rain fell here in the past 36 hours.
The creek nearest to our house flowed with force we have never seen before.
We walked (and Daniel biked) down the hill and looked over at it.
Rushing. Roiling. Rapids.
We wondered aloud: "Where was it all going? Where did it come from?"
Thank God it's here.
We sure do need it.
I am trying so hard to reconnect with my normal life here in Charlotte.
To pick up where I left off and reclaim my normal place in this life I live.
To stop focusing on what I saw and felt and lived in Nicaragua.
But I cannot forget any of it.
The photos and journal entries linger near.
I run into people who went on the trip, and we reminisce.
I run into people who knew about the trip, and they ask questions.
Did you enjoy the trip?
Was it fun?
One woman said, "Can you tell me in one paragraph about your trip?"
Yes and no.
Yes and no.
As I ponder the rain that has fallen and the humidity that lingers,
the rising streams, and the warped pages of my journal,
I cannot help but see myself in all those images.
The rain that has fallen on my soul, bringing relief for the emotional drought I've been suffering.
Sure, life was green and abundant in so many ways.
But beneath it all, cracked soil. Dryness. Thirst. A longing for something more.
Then the rain fell in a deluge. Soaking the earthen flooring of my soul.
And now that water rolls and bubbles, surging and rising.
It ebbs and flows, crashes against the shore of my life
and the pilings of the nice, neat existence that had seemed so secure.
I want to hide inside for safety, not risking loss or damage or dis-ease.
And I also want to stand under the hardest downpour to be refreshed and cleansed, made new.
Where did all of this humidity and confusion come from? I have no idea.
Where is it going? I don't know that either.
This one thing I do know: I am going to stay on this roller coaster of a life,
or whatever this is,
until it ends.
My prayer tonight is this: "Lord, please let the neat, easy pages of my life remain warped by this experience forever."
In the meantime, I will try to enjoy this beautiful city with its parks and walkways.
I will wander its streets with the two young people that have been lent to me to love and teach and take care of for a few years.
And as I reflect on this humid night, I will remember several humid nights in August that I spent in a place that changed me forever.