Sunday, March 15, 2009

choosing gratitude

My mind needs a break from the intellectual life. All I have been doing these past couple days is attempting to pull out pages and pages of concise yet eloquent words of research and policy surrounding issues in child welfare. I am not used to intense intellectual thought for hours and hours and no break. If you were to walk past me any of these last days at Sydney’s, my coffee shop of choice, you would see an intense stare into my laptop screen, complete with furrowed brow and feet tapping below to the soundtrack my dear Pandora unrolls for me as I type, type, type away…

I’ve been thinking about Malawi a lot lately. For whatever reason, it’s come up in conversation with strangers, with new friends, with family and with someone becoming very dear to me. After I’ve been talking about it, then it seems as though all things remind me of my time there. From a website featuring a picture of the darling girls I got close to, to the smell of a conditioner I started using in Malawi, these little reminders set my heart on my loves a world away. It’s hard to be a world away from the people and place you love so much. I’m tempted to become melancholy and bummed, but I’m choosing gratitude tonight. I’m grateful to sit and recall the laughter, the jokes, the culture and the beauty of the people.

I’m grateful to have a place that brings my heart so much joy and so many memories worth treasuring. Instead of feeling torn between the northwest and a home in Africa, instead of feeling torn between these two places, instead of reliving or fearing goodbyes, I’m choosing to be thankful for two homes. In whichever place I physically reside, my heart will always be present and alive in both. And whenever I leave one for the other, I know there is a welcoming home, always a hello, a refreshing arrival.

I know in my heart that someday I will again feel that freshness of arriving on African soil. Someday…

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