And here we go.
We begin a new year.
And the old one passes away, joining memories and become past. Becoming a part of our history.
A bittersweet change, from old to new. For me, tied up with endings and beginnings, and all sorts of new experiences and memories on the journey. But somehow, I am not sad to see it go. I will be glad to begin again, to go forward from here.
At times, you see, it has felt so hopeless to me. A hopeless place, where I'm just pacing, waiting and revisiting everything I've done before. Day comes, and the rounds go on, and night comes, only to bring day again, and have I moved forward?
At times, you see, it has felt like I've gathered dust.
Perhaps I haven't. Perhaps during those dust-gathering times I've been growing somehow, or grabbing onto grace somehow. Perhaps, its for a reason, but frustration has been tangible, too.
Perhaps, the grand things have been the moments of grace. Like living in Bolivia. Bolivia. I say the name and floods of thoughts, ideas, memories come. I say the name, and go into Spanish mode, thinking in Español a mi mismo and taste the rice and feel the itch of hundreds of mosquito bites again. Bolivia was the highlight of the year, the great lesson teacher, the shining months of happiness. I remember the first time I laughed in months was there. Really laughed, with head thrown back, eyes shut, laughing from my toes. Sun shining down on my head, sparkling in my eyes. I remember that laugh. I remember those moments.
I remember moments on a motorcycle, wind catching my hair and blowing it behind, giggling softly to myself, because the driver couldn't understand me, and I couldn't understand him, and we got lost together in his hometown, with me giving directions in a strange half Spanish, half sign language way. At last we found the place, and he smiled shyly and charged me much less than he should have, and we laughed together before he sped on to the next fare.
A grand thing, was teaching 5 little children, all who nestled into a little place in my heart. Washing hands, reading books, making paintings, sliding down the slide (teacher is sliding down the big slide- they giggled so much at that) and playing all sorts of games. I taught them to read and write letters, crooked as they may have been. They taught me joy in simple things like goldfish crackers, and friends who share.
Grand things, small things they seemed, too. Day by day things. Like catching those perfect shots on my camera. Like a few hours here and there in a coffee shop with a sibling. Like hours on the phone with my best friend. Like cherished emails and chats and time spent in special places, just being together. Golden moments. Small adventures. They gather together to create the dust of the clay of the whole year, becoming part of who I am.
Hard things, too. Many tears, my heart aching. Many times head down, working as hard as I could, lips tight in determination. Many nights spent studying, praying, writing as I endured.
Life. Vida. Its all a part of the journey.
No, I don't want to go back and begin this year again. I'd rather go forward. I'd rather move on. But I am grateful for lessons learned, for experiences lived through, for grace showered down from God.
And I look forward to the next one. I wait anxiously to see what happens. I search earnestly for Christ's leading.
Onward. Upward. Vaya con Dios. Viaje con Dios. Go with God. Journey with God.