With this one piece of paper, we’ve begun our wait… it was as exciting as I might imagine having 2 lines show up on one of those sticks…. I think even more exciting.
As I wait for my child, I will not have the physical milestones to mark the way. I won’t have morning sickness, stretch marks, or weight gain (I hope). No doctor visits, ultrasounds, etc. So how to mark the days? A photo every day – something to show our child what these days were like. So as the journal swells, we know we must be getting close to our child’s arrival.
When you see this face, what story do you tell yourself about this boy’s life? I’ve been thinking a lot about how I project stories onto people that I do not know. If I’m honest, my mind wanders to stereotypical projections. I hate that! Why can’t we listen for a story before we create one? As my husband and I prepare to welcome a new child, I am constantly evaluating how I interact with others. I know that others will meet our child and create a story that is far from the truth. How will our child be happy with his/her own story when so many other versions are thrust at him/her? I guess that’s our job as parents. Perhaps recognizing our tendencies will help us listen even closer before we start making up stories for others. What is this boy’s story? It’s his to tell.
Everyone should live in a small cement house in rural Kenya – for at least a week. Whether kicking and screaming or with jubilant expectation…
everyone needs this experience.
to be greeted with the biggest, most sincere smiles you have ever seen…
to run through the rain to the kitchen, breathe dark, spicey smoke and watch mamma stir the ugali until you smell that it’s ready… Dinner never tasted so good. There is something about eating with your hands in the dark that makes the flavor if ugali and sukamawiki rival gourmet.
Everyone should sleep warmly under thick blankets and a mosquito net, wake to exotic birds and a warm bucket shower in the middle of the yard…followed by a cup of chai for breakfast (you can picture your new friends plucking each tea leaf).
No luxury vacation can rival this…Feeling loved by strangers who pour out their lives to make you part of the family. Teaching you how to participate in their lives by plucking tea, digging potatoes, and milking cows…never realizing the paradise that is theirs…Taking each day as a new gift. Yes, everyone should experience this.
We live a privelaged life. Water is only as far away as our sink…and usually clean enough to drink without boiling. Recently I had the privelage of working with my husband, my students, and my new friends in Honduras to help install a gravity-fed water system. Las Brisas, Honduras…. a beautiful place not too far from Nicaragua…until a last week most members of the community had to walk at least 2km for water.
We worked hard during our week in Las Brisas… though in reality, the digging we accomplished was nothing in comparison to the amount of work our new Honduran friends have done and continue to accomplish. The goal of our trip was to develop relationships. We made new friends and learned to live in community with each other (fellow Wheaties) and with our new friends in Las Briasas. We learned a little about poverty…though we can’t ever really know what it means to live with few/no options…we have so many choices! We have the privelage of education (though thankfully many in Las Brisas do too), vocation…I doubt any of my students will choose a life of farming coffee… and none of the young women in my group would choose to give up their independance for a life of making tortillas and caring for children (if you will allow me to oversimplify the lives of the extraordinary women of Las Brisas!).
What a week… extraodinary people… so thankful for the few things that they have…the most important thing being extraordinary hearts!
“Spend the day. You can’t take it with you.” (Annie Dillard) I’ve been working on being more present in each moment…every conversation, every word read… At the start of today I thought that I would certainly be lost in numerous back-to-back meetings, but some days have nice suprises that remind you to be present in every moment. This was one of them marked by a great group of students with awesome attitudes, meetings with meaningful content, suprise visits from 2 friends, a spectacular display by a redtail out my window…and I still had time to learn a few things! I think that today was a day spent…
I grew up in the south, so snow days were rare (and really didn’t require snow)… but I remember how much fun it was to be stuck at home with a glorious day away from school. Now that I live in the north where ice and snow is kept at bay with snowplows and salt (yuck), there is no such thing as a snow-day (not that there has been much snow this winter either). Today was the closest thing to a snow day for me in a long time. I have been too busy to look at the calendar, so I didn’t realize until late last week that we had no classes today (of course, I would have seen it on the syllabus eventually). Amazingly I was ahead on grading, and I was actually able to “play” a little today. Just what I needed…a day with no schedules, no grading…
All I need…
A walk with my buddy
and an evening to hang out with my beau…
This is new to me, and really out of character…though others (particularly my students) might disagree. I’m not sure what my objective is here, but I hope to learn something in the process of writing and perhaps engaging in conversations with others.
Finally it is winter here…just in time for spring. It has been a warm winter, and not enough snow in my opinion (I haven’t been able to snowshoe at all!) There are many signs…ponds lack ice, active and well-fed wildlife, etc. In fact, last night I saw a HUGE raccoon. It was super fat for this time of year. Of course, it’s probably hitting all of the garbage cans rather than foraging for more “natural” fare. This is all circumstatial, and of course I can say nothing about “climate change” based on my personal, perhaps biased, observation…however…I heard a story today on NPR that was sobering! A professor at the University of Kansas, Pannir Kanagaratnam, reported on his study of ice melt from Greenland’s Glaciers. In 1996 he measured a melt of 22 cubic miles. In 2005, a whopping 54 cubic miles.
This story comes a week after the “Evangelical Call to Action” … a group of prominant evangelical leaders broke free of the “anti-environmentalist” mold to speak out against current attitudes and actions that perpetuate climate change. This story was pretty big…it made the National News because the majority of the public thinks that all evangelicals are anti-environment. NOT TRUE! Many evangelicals are misinformed, but there are many christian leaders in the environmental movement…Check out A Rocha… an International Christian Conservation Organization.
Well, it all comes down to loving our neighbors…how can we care for our suffering neighbors without considering the environment in which they live. As the earth gets warmer, we are creating an environment that will perpetuate disease and suffering…we should respond.