Halfway Home.

Peering from some high

window; at the gold

of November sunset

(and feeling that if day

has to become night

this is a beautiful way) 

As I sit here, contemplating how to abridge these 5+ months into a meaningful read for you, my eyes are drawn to my office window. It is not quite sunset, as spoken of above in one of my favorite poems by e.e. cummings, but it is November. And even though my coworkers claim that winter made its debut, dragonflies and butterflies still dance away among the trees outside.  This, I feel, is actually one of the best depictions of my time here: vibrant colors, rapid flurries of motion, blissful glissades, moments of despair (I’m certain that butterflies, as peaceful as they seem, also encounter sensations of worry and discomfort). All of these accompanied by that evasive “free time” that allows one to notice such things. Although life seems quite normal now (it has a habit of doing so), I still find great joy in residing in such a beautiful place, among such exquisite people. I am speaking especially of those who hold me tight as I curse the miles from home, giggle with me at the sight of Isaac dancing, and patiently teach me how to wear a sari and to say “hello” and to stay calm in a rowdy classroom. They are not perfect, and I still wrestle with feelings of loneliness and entitlement, but they are fun-loving people who have compelling stories and compassionate hearts, and for that I am grateful.

I miss my friends, and I really miss my parents, but I know that before long, I will be missing the walks, the Malayalam lessons, the discussions about the end times, and the smiles, both innocent and mischievous. I will likely even miss the puzzle of assigning substitutes and the pressure of operating with insufficient funds. Because this is a beautiful place, one that, yes, desperately needs the grace and protection of Christ, but nonetheless, has glimpses of joy and redemption. I suppose that is the condition of most of our hearts, really. Broken but beautiful. We want to be good, to help others, to be happy. We take big adventures and post interesting pictures, hoping that one day, we will suddenly feel complete, feel loved, heck, feel noticed. And maybe, deep down, that’s all this year is, one big “hey, look at me and how amazing I am, saving the world one dark and dirty face at a time.” I suspect, though, and pray that there is more to it. That even if this sad plea was part of my unspoken motivation for roughing it here, God uses the time to teach me just how insignificant I am, in light of his ultimate significance. In a world of dark and terrible things, this is all I can hope for; that I will not spend my days, here or elsewhere, consumed with the opinions and failings of others. Because there is too much beauty yet to be seen, too many prayers to invoke, too many days to spend enamored with the trees and butterflies.

Thank you all for your love and support thus far. I can’t wait to see what the second half of my journey brings. ❤

79821-today-i-choose-joy