Sunday, September 13, 2009

Returning Home

Hello Everybody,

I hope that you are enjoying this time of harvest and the first hints of Autumn, as I am after two Septembers away from fresh peaches and falling leaves. Each season holds a unique beauty.

Again, so much has happened since I last wrote here, four months and a myriad of motion and emotion. In Merida, the Nueva Vida girls continued the school year after the nation-wide suspension of classes due to the flu. However, the number of flu cases in Yucatan rose and the school year was ended about two weeks ahead of schedule in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. Three Nueva Vida girls graduated from elementary school (6th grade) and all of the girls passed their classes to continue in the next grade up next year. Cari and Marilyn returned from the States and we were happy to be able still take the girls to the beach the last weekend in June to celebrate the end of the school year.

On July 8, I departed from Merida for Grand Junction to visit for the summer. The day after my arrival, I departed for a quick trip to Teton and Yellowstone National Parks with my parents and with my brother's family. Wild, wonderful Wyoming was a great welcome back to the American West. What grandeur in the mountains and vast plains! After our return, I spent some time on Colorado's Western Slope, and then about ten days visiting family and friends on the Front Range. Fausto came to Colorado to visit for ten days in mid-August and we saw some beautiful places in Colorado and Utah.

Throughout the summer, I was contemplating possible next steps in my life. After much soul-searching, I've chosen to stay in Colorado for now. I think I need to collect myself at "home" after two tumultuous years away, to be near the family and friends who steady me and give me life. This was a difficult decision. Still, part of me yearns to return to mission, where my eyes have been opened to the great imbalances in the world, to the needs of others, and my own needs. And part of me yearns for long-term relationships and simple family life. I trust somehow God can unify all these pieces inside me, if I can keep my heart open.

Here are some thoughts drawn from the experiences of the last two years:

We need each other. No one can survive alone for long, let alone thrive.

Work, responsibility, routine, long-term relationships, the things that sometimes we resent, and can make feel like we're in a rut, are also things that give much meaning to our lives. Appreciate them.

No person sees the whole picture of our infinitely complex reality. Each one of us sees a part. If we open ourselves to understand another person's (a child's, a grandparent's, a businessman's, an immigrant's, an African's...) point of view, we have an opportunity to get a grasp on another piece of the puzzle, to see the truth more clearly.

Both want and excess make people sick, either physically or spiritually. We in the "North" of the world must be aware of how we impact the rest of the world. If we live simply, then others can simply live, and we will be better for it, too.

Thank you all for accompanying me from afar during these last two years. May God bless you in your own missions.