The morning light is glowing on the trees outside my parents’ house. We’ve been on an island in our last days here, and it has been a welcome island. Forested and lovely, with parents/grandparents. It’s nearly time to go home to Thailand after our epic, beautiful adventure, filled with love and kindness.
The world has grown strange and sometimes cold. White supremacists have marched and that is deeply horrifying. We are all robbed by the lack of love for people of color. Being black in the world should be a cause of celebration, not a reason for people to hold themselves carefully, or need to push through prejudice. I pray for fountains of healing. I don’t know how we can change, but I will keep writing with that hope in mind.
Water has washed away homes. Fire has threatened us. Across the sea, children are scarred by war. My heart hurts for the world.
I have been very brave, on this trip. I have stayed in 46 different places in the last four months, meaning 46 different homes or campsites. (!) That is also how many times I packed up my things, or our things, after the first month, when the other six people in my family joined me. We camped all along the road, stopping in the evening to throw up our tents, and pulling them down the next morning to drive again. We spent time in Detroit with Chinua’s family. We camped with my family in BC. We played charades. We swam.
Everyone has done well, although I feel that Isaac has gotten a little confused about what he can and cannot expect from life. When everything is epic, it can be confusing for a four-year-old. He can’t figure out the way days are supposed to go. Are they supposed to always contain treats and ice cream? Maybe a roller coaster or an epic playground? He’s a bit demanding these days. I think he’ll do well with a return to our simple life and schedule.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and growing as we’ve journeyed here. The whole thing has been a long experiment in the sufficiency of each day, and of pushing myself and believing I have what it takes. A lot of my anxiety comes from fear that more will be expected of me than I can handle, so I have found peace and safety in the reassurance that I have what I need for right now. God is always there, always with me. He is now. I cannot feel his peace four days from now. I feel it now.
And somewhere along one of the roads, I found a stream of healing, and I went down to it and let it run over me. My heart feels different. It feels as though it has found a place of belonging. I feel ready for life to come, despite ten million child conflicts per day, despite dust and cleaning, despite the toll life takes.
More beautiful things: we spent my mom’s birthday with her, which was a gift to us. Chinua made cheesecake and sweet potato pie. We sang happy birthday off key and off time. We have walked on the beach and watched the kids play on playgrounds. We spent one epic day in the car in which my parents showed again their patience and tenacity. We have talked and played and made food together every day. I cherish this.
Solo has been dropping and doing push-ups multiple times a day. I also love this. His quirky joy makes my heart happy. All my kids do, in a hundred ways. I have also discovered more joy in having quirky nieces, on this trip. Oh, how I love them.
I can’t sum it all up, and I won’t even try. It is very, very hard to leave. But this time has been a gift. I am very thankful for every minute, every person who opened their home to us. I am thankful for every mile we drove, for every minute Chinua and I talked in the front seat, being together, just being. I am thankful to go home to Thailand now, to be in my house and with my community. I am thankful.