…just a few ragged-edged splinters from the log I have kept of life. That is all this will be. It seems life mainly consists of collecting as many memories as possible, at this stage of winding down and saying goodbye to a country and people we deeply love. It is the season of rain, which is East Africa at it’s finest. Every day I tuck the beauty into my heart–the endless beauty of green, growing things, and children catching bugs and picking guava. The throb of music, the scent of eucalyptus, the sing-song call of vendors selling greens, and ‘my’ patchwork mountain. The array of personalities and people and God’s wonderful workings in the children of men. Open air markets where I buy mounds of fresh food, the Strange Long House we live in, and the flow of KiSwahili. I might even miss dry season, who knows?
I’m packing. I try to pack the ache deep into one of the totes, but it never stays there, insisting on watering my eyes and twisting my heart at random times. I have decided it is okay to ache and to cry. It is all good for the soul. C. S. Lewis once said, “By the way, don’t weep inwardly and get a sore throat. If you must weep, weep a good, honest howl.” I like that advice.
Before the howling truly begins, though, we have nine more weeks of beautiful living here in Isyesye. We are trying to capture it, mostly in our hearts and a little with the camera. Only a little because the best moments are impossible to capture with a piece of technology.
A passion flower bloom–a small hidden marvel.
Before the packing (and the howling) begins in earnest the Kiwria, Ivuna, and Isyesye churches came together for an Easter seminar. The group was small, but so precious. Definitely my favorite moment of the three days was after communion, singing “Wana Baraka.” All the hearts in the room were nearly bursting with joy. It will be a precious memory tucked away in my heart forever. Those are the moments when i wonder how we will ever say goodbye, till I remember that God is the hub. What God owns is safe and cared for. I have discovered that the perceived loss of letting go is not a loss at all. The ‘grasped’ is a selfish poison whereas the ‘ungrasped’ becomes a gift to be fully enjoyed. Our work is meant to give us joy but it is never meant to fill our souls.
This past week the new Water of Life office and library was finished and opened! We had a few days of uncertainty as the day Tim was planning on opening it, the newly renovated building was marked with a red X, which means it will need to be torn down to make way for a new market road. After all the building and fixing up, that was disconcerting. They tore the roof off a neighboring building, but that is as far as they got. And Tim was told to move in…”it could be a few years till they actually do it.” So that is what we did, hoping that perhaps they will come up with a better idea for a road eventually.
And that is the end of the splinters I gathered. The hustle and the bustle of the past few weeks was inspiring and beautiful… but now I’m enjoying the quiet. I’m glad that life is a combination of rest and work, because I really need the rest when it comes. Time to gather my thoughts and fluff my feathers, kiss my babies and weave words.
Mbarikiwe! (Be blessed)