A new landscape

When Goa became our home, all of YaYa's drawings of houses became multi-colored, and always featured a few birds, some caterpillars, some worms, and at least one butterfly.

When we moved to the mountains, her drawings changed.  Suddenly there were large mountains.  Sometimes the houses were tiny in comparison, and the sun was just peeking over the hills.

Now we have come back and we have a new landscape of color around us.  Everyone is repainting after the heavy rains, the village is busy with cleaning and painting and the houses are the same, but wear new faces.  Next door the house is lime green with cantaloupe highlights! And out the back, what color was that house before?  I can't remember, but now it is a brilliant blue. An eye straining blue that keeps coming even when you are no longer looking.

It is lovely.

Two things that Goan people love are fireworks and color.  Also fish.  As one man told me, chicken is for special, but fish is good everyday.

There have been late rains this year.  They've caused flooding and problems, but also this weather which is cool for the time of year. And they wet my laundry on the line when I forget to take it in at night.  I go out in the morning and it is sodden and embarrassed.

Did I ever not like palm trees? Did I ever compare them to sticks with hair, back when I was eighteen and I had moved to San Diego from my deep cool forests of Canada?  That must not have been me.  The palm tree is not only about coconuts or dates or the symbol of relaxation.  It is about a wild symmetry of lines and fronds and straight trunks with an explosion right where the tree touches the sky.

And then there is the sorrow of the broken times we live in. Trash in the streams, plastic on the beach, trash washing up on the river beds. The creation is tired, it is not being treated well. I hurt with it.

Beauty and pain always seem to come together.  Fear creeps in as well.  Is it okay to love anything so much?  I remember I felt this way when I first had the babies.  As if they would be taken away.  But what does this say about how we perceive God to be?  As if, after giving a child a birthday present, we would hover over them, waiting to see if they liked it too much and then snatching it out of their hands.

He gives us good gifts.  The appropriate response would be thank you, I guess.

So, Thank You.