Tuesday, May 12, 2009

you don't know how precious you are

And so we are here. Sorry for the delay, but things have been hectic and internet is back to being spotty at best. Plus it's been raining, great big buckets of rain.

As we were landing back in the jungle last week J looked at me and said It feels like this has been one long day and I started laughing because that felt exactly right. Like the past month had been one surreal dream of doctors and hospitals and now as we walked down the jetway it felt like we were waking up. It smells different here, see. It smells like heat.

The night we came back we were invited for dinner, we sat with 6 other people under a palapa, eating good food and drinking too much wine (this friend, she finds wine here and it is good, but I think any wine here is good because it's hard to find) and the conversation was perfect, one of those long rolling nights full of laughter, telling stories. One of the things that continues to strike me here differently is what we talk about, here we talked all night of spiritual matters, not religion but spirit, of things people have encountered and how they've witnessed transformation. My priestess friend was there, radiant as usual and midway through the night she jumps up childlike to dance in the coconut grove under the moon. I watch her and I smile as she calls out to the stars.

This is what I have missed.

The next day I reconnect with the friend who has been collecting our mail in my absence. She and I carry 4 boxes to my car, four heavy boxes that are full, are full and overfull with school supplies. She looks at me in disbelief I can't believe your friends did all of this. Do you think they will mind if some of this goes to the other school in the village too? I tell her the truth, that I don't think you would mind at all as long as it's going where it was needed most and she said there is no shortage of that so I take the boxes home and start to open them and all of a sudden I am sitting in the middle of the floor crying because I am so humbled by your generosity and not only your generosity but for your love and gifts for M and for how you wrote notes telling me you did this with your children and how much it meant to them. I could say thank you two hundred and seventy six times and it would not feel like enough.

J stands over me in awe, he can't believe you would do something like this and yet at the same time he can, he's seen it before with the Just Posts and with the flood and with the orphanage in Africa and yet he still can't help but shake his head. Your friends, they don't even really know you and that's when I stood up and said you are wrong there buddy, just look around and tell me that we don't know each other and that our love for our community here isn't the same or better as anywhere else and he nodded his head you are right he said. And I am.

So I divided things up along with the things you'd sent to me in the States (you women are so creative, feathers and glitter and shells and blocks and glue and paint and sparkles and so much colored paper and crayons?) and took the biggest box to M's school and two smaller boxes to two other schools, each teacher stood in shock and hugged me tight. I let them know this wasn't from me but from my wonderful friends and they all said to thank you so much. And today when I dropped M off at school they were using playdoh for the first time and they had new puzzles, and new crayons on the table. The children are using new and different and better supplies today because of each of you. One other box is still waiting, apparently there is a homeschool out in the bush where there are only 10 or so kids who can't make it into the village. I hear they have next to nothing and my neighbor asked if we could share some of our supplies with them too. Four different schools. You helped four different schools and if there was more I could keep going, the need here will forever outshine the resources in a way that's hard and stupid and honest and real.

So for the two hundredth and seventy seventh time, I thank you.

Want to know the song in my head? The Ocean by Dar Williams

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Gina said...

It's wonderful to hear about the teachers and children getting the things they need. And it was a great opportunity on this end for my kids to be a part of it.

Mad said...

Still have a box to send--mainly gold fish crackers for M but also some school supplies. Pls email address again b/c I am email slob and lost it.

Magpie said...

This makes me want to cry. It's so, so very wonderful.

meno said...

Any way to set up a paypal account for those of us too lazy to send packages and self-aware enough to know it?

Denguy said...

I haven't sent my package yet.
I've been heavily distracted, but I haven't forgotten you lovely people.

Gwen said...

What a lovely way to be welcomed home.

painted maypole said...

i love that 4 schools were helped. i love it.

Kim said...

I am with Meno. I would love to send something, but I will kick myself every week that I don't get to the post office.

If you don't mind to email me the address so that I can be at least one step closer. It is, after all, a start.

Also, if there is a specific need I would love to know what it is.

Thanks for all you do.

Leslie F. Miller said...

It's nice to see you again. You are still doing wonderful things.

I have tickets for Dar Williams in August, and I will think of you.

Janet said...

You remind me that there is great beauty in the world. And my pessimisstic soul thanks you heartily for that epiphany.

bgirl said...

such a perfect song to describe this recent journey. wow.
a welcoming back from the ocean. so fitting.

happy to be thinking of you under jungle skies.

Kyla said...

I love you, sister. You make me smile, a deep, soulful kind of smile.

Expatriate Chef said...

I have things to send as well. Missed the address where to send. Can you email me or drop a comment at my place?