Sitting here in the pitch black morning I started to write all the things I’m overwhelmed by these days. Then I took a deep breath and deleted them. What’s the point of remembering, again, how tired I am? Or how daunting the future seems these days? Redirect. Redirect. Redirect.
Everyone is asleep. I’m in the home of the people I nanny for. Levi is home, asleep I would imagine, and hope. The stars were still out as I stepped out of my car, coffee in hand. I found Orion’s Belt immediately and had to stop and sigh, remembering way too suddenly and too profoundly falling in love with Michel for the first time, those stars the ones we chose for him, mine a small collection to the far right, that only came out when his did, which, ironically, we didn’t realize until years later. Looking at the stars on a cool October morning in Connecticut is so much not the same as being put to sleep by them in Haiti that I wanted to start my morning in tears. Instead I shook my head and sipped my coffee, which, somehow, always seems to make things better.
This past weekend I was at a wedding for a dear sister of mine, Kendra. She lived in Haiti with us for a short bit, but her determination in life has kept us bonded. She is a lover, and when she chooses you to love, she will not let you go. Michel and I drove down, leaving Levi with my parents for the first time. I had no idea the wedding would both heal me and destroy me all together.
We were all out on the dance floor, awkwardly dancing in circles around each other like you always do at wedding receptions. Kendra was spinning in her beautiful white dress, kids fluttered around her and her ballet slippers laced around her ankles gracefully. Father Louis was overwhelmed by the noise, turning into himself like he sometimes does when his thoughts are already too loud. Someone grabbed him to dance so he grabbed all of us. Michel. Me. Kristin. Sam. Father. The song was “Shout” and we were all getting “a little bit softer now…” As we stood up Father yells “trust fall!” and begins to fall straight bodied onto me. I squeal, literally, and he catches himself, laughing. It was then that I left myself, seeing everything from far away. All of us there, dancing, joyful. Father in the middle of us all, the glue, that somehow makes everything ok. And I felt alive all over again. I felt my old life so before me that I forgot for a moment it wasn’t the present. That I wouldn’t leave with Father and hop on a plane and go back to Haiti. That in the morning I would wake up and drive home to my son. My son. My son who counts on me now. Who depends on me to bring him to Christ. To give him opportunities to live fully and in the Truth. The importance of that left me for a moment, and I danced, beside Michel and in front of Father, and for a moment I felt free, really free.
Now coming back home has been an adjustment I wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t know a taste of the past would be so difficult to leave. But I think it’s more that there is something in my soul that wants to heal, but as always, I fight. Everything is ok. How big and overwhelming is this? The knowledge that yes, YES, all is well. Forgiveness has broken down all the walls. The God would allow me to feel so loved, so cherished even, after such a mess, such pain and such unknown. That I can be in the company of the people I loved most, Father, Sean, Kristin and Sam, and be totally ok. Totally accepted and good. Good. Everything is good.
When the leaves begin to fall I fall too. Something in me also sheds, in preparation for the winter, for the cold. When, as it always does, the white will cover the grounds and things will be made new. When the snow washes away the dirt, and freezes the leaves, and we’re left to watch from a distance as life does what it always does; changes. Before this happens something in me always shuts down, turns inward, and God pokes and probes to open me up again, to be ok with letting myself unravel. To be ok with not knowing, and remembering, and feeling it all as it passes.
So this week I’m focusing on looking forward, yet again, and not backwards. To not get overwhelmed with how dumb our government is and the fact that I probably won’t ever have enough money to build an underground castle full of teachers and faithful family and friends. Or that I have no idea what ‘home’ will look like in the future. That the land next to Kristin and Sam will be bought before I can even imagine having the money to buy it myself. Or that I don’t like my hair right now, but I can’t seem to fix that. The big, and the little. When it all swirls around inside of me it becomes daunting. Sleep training Levi. Writing this book and losing order of things. Sitting in a coffee shop not realizing tears are flowing from my eyes as I write it, as I remember. And Haiti. My precious, beloved Haiti, how so much was stolen from me there, and how I gave so much I shouldn’t have. But how, at the end of the day, I’m always yearning to go back, to disappear yet again inside those mountains.
We all fear the unknown. But, as I’m assuming God would want us to do, we can let ourselves be washed clean in the white that is coming. So for now, let’s shed our colors like the leaves shed theirs, and be ok with whatever swims around inside our minds, our souls, our hearts. Let’s just be fully present to the life we are living, knowing, honestly, that everything is good. That everything, somehow, is ok.