Wednesday, August 27, 2008

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.
Absolutely not.

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.


jmgb said...

you honor Nicaragua by never being the honor those children.

Ella said...

Impressions that touch the heart so deeply will never leave you Gail.

You're so thoughtful how could they? They will lead you on another journey and it makes you appreicate what you have when you give of yourself in such a way I feel.

That's a gift few give with anymore to some degree. How can you apreciate the sun without rain? You dared to go where few have do.

In blessings and friendship,


Amy said...

Your journals are beautiful! I bought two fresh ones the other day, but I have yet to open them.

Enjoy your life in Charlotte with your precious family. Be grateful for the rain. Hold Central America in your heart and prayers.

Lori said...

Indented on your heart and in your mind forever will be those faces. But the best part of those faces is when you go back and start to establish relationships with them.
Blessings to you!!!!!

PS I changed the font size

Smell Goods Lady said...

Beautiful journaling. Thank you for sharing. I am here, I may not post often, but I am here enjoying it all.

Lisa said...

Oh, I SO get this! While our situations are different, your eloquent, heartfelt words echo many of my same feelings and questions. The unfortunate, unexpected realization that we have been parched - soul starved - for such a long time -all while living what we consider to be full, happy, successful lives. Astounding.
I've been shaken to the core over and over again by the recent changes, appearances, truths, encounters, and messages in my life. Holding on to the roller coaster with white knuckles and sometimes even clenching my eyes shut as I wait for what will come next. A hill? A valley? Increased speed? A curvy ride through the trees? An exhilirating view from the top - just a moment - then plunging to the depths below.

Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. It cannot be any other way for us now.

Thank you, my dear Gail, for your honesty and messiness. It is a balm to us who journey along with you.

As a woman I feel strong...
"There is an immediate connection to other women I meet. A feeling of, "Oh, yes. You too are taking this adventure yourself." (Written by Sabrina Ward Harrison and copied by me while I was at your house in April :-))

GailNHB said...

Thanks to all of you who read and comment, who read and ponder, who read and reach out in other ways. Your love and support mean more than you know.

I promise to keep writing.