“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
-Dr. Suess, The Lorax

Friday, February 17, 2012

Embracing the Quiet

I’ve been home from my solo trip to Haiti for 2 ½ days. 
I’ve caught up on my sleep, thanks to not having an open-air market within earshot of my window, complete with a passionate Haitian preacher who likes to begin his daily sermons at 5:00 am from up in a banana tree with a megaphone.  Bless his heart, I wanted to punch him. 
I’m currently working on getting massive amounts of laundry done, and oh so thankful that I have a washing machine, which means I don’t have to do my laundry by hand.  If that were the case, I would most certainly grant my youngest child’s wish and allow her to wear the same outfit every day.   
Since arriving home, a good deal of time has been spent snuggling, sharing stories and photos, hugging, and taking hot showers.  I am particularly thankful to once again have smoothly shaven legs.  Never underestimate the value of hot water, especially when a razor is involved.
When my husband picked me up at the airport (I have never in my life been so excited to spot my vehicle in a parking lot, even compared to times I’ve lost it at Wal-Mart), we hugged and kissed like I had been gone for a week to a third-world country without him.  Our reunification surely made an adorable picture - me with my nappy hair, him on his crutches.  Ok, so it wasn’t a glamorous sight; but as soon as I was wrapped in his arms, I sighed from great relief, because there – in his arms – I am home.
As we hit the road for our two-hour drive back from the airport, my mind was awhirl with stories and information, images and emotions I’ll never forget.  I wanted to spew it all out for him to vicariously experience my week in Cazale, but I had no idea where to even begin.  “What do you want to know?” I asked him.  After apologizing for sounding like a traveling snob, I warned him that I would just start sharing as things came to mind, and that it would be quite random.  And it was.  I wasn’t quite ready to share the heart-wrenching stories yet, though.  I suppose that I just didn’t want to speak of them until I was ready to hear them myself.
Fast forward to the current, a quiet Friday afternoon.  Yes, I said “quiet.”  This morning it occurred to me that I should be able to get some thoughts recorded by now, while they are still fresh in my mind.  But my mind continues to feel jumbled, and a constant feeling of being distracted inhibits me from getting my thoughts in any kind of order.  That’s when it hit me.  I haven’t embraced the quiet.  I immediately fell back into the trap of constant noise here in my home.  So I turned off the television, stopped surfing the net, and walked away from my phone.  I picked up a devotional book and did a little reading.  A little praying.  A little meditating on the Word.  And then I took a nap.  (Ok, so maybe I’m not quite caught up on my sleep…but I’m getting there.)
With just the sounds of my precious washer and dryer doing their thing, I’m starting to get my thoughts together from my trip to that place that is so bittersweet called Cazale, Haiti.  Let the writing begin.    

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