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Monday, November 27, 2017

traveling mercies

I know, I know. An amazing book by Anne Lamott. However. Also my mantra for this trip to Norway with baby and my mother to teach at a little youth camp way up north on heavy issues like social justice and trafficking of humans and our responsibilities and the intersect with faith and belief and how can we see such things and still find hope in God.

All of it.

Jet lag and kind strangers on airplanes and eating whale at a smiling Norwegian home and seeing gnomes pop out of moss covered trees (I kept expecting) and a toddling determined baby drawing circle after circle in crayon on torn up magazines and the Northern Lights dancing across the sky stretched taut from one end to the other (as I also felt stretched) and insanely stressed phone calls home and juggling kids ipad account updates from thousands of miles away and way too much coffee and not enough chocolate (NEVER) and storage lockers in Minnesota full of memories that make me sob on my knees and trying to grapple with an altogether different generation (I am old) on the power of the dollar in our changing of the world (yes, where you buy your clothes can make a difference!) and images of children bought and sold like merchandise and not enough sleep and tears at 4am and sitting on the warm floors (infloor heating is a dream) listening to the wind whip around us as we talk about Netflix shows with amazing leaders trying to change lives of the next generation of youth rising up in a blessed but depressed region of the world and the moutains rising up above and the sun a mere memory as it skirts behind them barely bringing glimmers of light to the uppermost peaks and more chocolate still and still not enough sleep and wearing beloved boots and sweaters again remembering the drudgery of dressing babies for the cold and hauling a toddler around a city, wind whipping at our faces, grateful for free museums to duck out of the cold, photographs from the 1960s of polar bear skins drying in the sun and smiling blond boys racing down snowy hills with thick wool sweaters and shorts on and what is this world but just a short air flight away to such a different place yet so the same still and mothers chiding me in public play spaces, dont worry if your baby snatches a toy from mine, that is how children learn and I pause my defensive nettled reaction in time and realize how much I have to learn even as I cry for refugee children trapped in camps on the islands of Greece as yet another winter sets in on their misery, the world quite forgetting them.

And back again. Home. To sunflowers blooming and enthusiastic kids (when did you get so tall?) making Christmas lists and decorating for Thanksgiving and eating too much and bottles of wine and sunsets off the lanai and the smell of roasting coffee wafting up from the farms around us and how different it is here. And yet the same.

Traveling mercies. The journey for us all.

And how I love it all here. And out there too. 

And how grateful I am. For all of it.

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