. . . on earth

July 16, 2013

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I know this feeling. That nagging sense of neglectfulness that comes when I know there is much I have been needing to write about, yet I have not been able to do so. And at the same time, a second-guessing of that, feeling like I have not been “productive” enough lately to merit documentation of my time. How can I properly write when I haven’t even been able to carry on many proper conversations with all the fits-and-starts-and-travels lately. Yesterday I attempted to take a Skype call while at the pool. It was too hot to stand on the poolside, so I stood, half in the water, and tried to converse. As we spoke of the importance of good household routines for children, my friend came over to me. She asked if she could see anything on the screen and popped her head up behind me, introducing herself and waving vigorously. I smiled and told her that, yes, she could. And that the video did go both ways. We gave up on the Skype call soon thereafter, and I returning to proper poolside decorum ☺
I have also questioned the value of what I would have to write about. Would it be about Magic Pie Trees? My recent days have consisted mainly of conversations like the following . . .
Remembering that his mother had mentioned plans to tackle her brimming cherry trees, I asked Ned if he had picked cherries since I was there last. He nodded. Then I asked if they had eaten cherry pie. He shook his head solemnly. “No—we don’t grow pies.” I agreed with him and launched into a scenario that came to mind. If I had a pie tree, it would grow different pies each season. In the springtime, I would pick Cherry Pie. In the summer, Lemon Meringue. In the autumn, it would be, of course, Pumpkin Pie. And in the winter, Chocolate Cream Pie . . .
Ned nodded enthusiastically at the idea, though he said he had never had Pumpkin Pie before. His cousin interjected at that point, arguing that he most certainly had!
So I begin to wonder, on days like this, if my life is just a proverbial bowl of cherries; or, in the words of Mary Engelbreit, “a chair of bowlies”?
But yesterday I received an email that gave me pause. I realized that, in fact, there is a continuity underneath even what feels like a string of scattered-ness in my own life. It was a thank you note from a very special teenager. I began mentoring her when I lived in Afhg@nist@n, going to the school where she was preparing for what she hoped to be a future of studies in the U.S.
I was with her this past winter as we logged into Skype for her interview with the school she hoped to attend. I had just done a mock interview with her and smiled with the certainty that she would fly through the questions, clearly demonstrating her brilliance, and enthusiasm. She did.
Later, once I left the country, we carried on our correspondence via Skype and email. I learned she had been accepted. Next was the visa hurdle. Once more, I did a mock session with her, with similar results. She got the Visa. When I found out that she would be coming for a summer school program, during which I would also be in the U.S., I knew I was meant to get to see her, and began planning the visit. It would come only 2 weeks after her arrival in the country, and I suspected would be timely. That, then, was one of the things that happened this past week—my road trip to spend 2 days with her. And that is what she was thanking me for: the time I had with her.
For all my excitement over M’s future prospects, I have no pie-in-the-sky illusions of smooth sailing. It’s going to be a rough transitional road because, well, she’s “not in Kansas anymore.” She has been given all she could possibly want, so far as material and educational needs go. But this is not home. The night I arrived was swim night for the students. I swim all the time, so wouldn’t have thought about it until now, as I walked around campus with this young woman who completely covers her body still, and who is watching girls her age, in bikinis, splashing about with boys in the swimming pool? And how does she adjust to dining alone at night, meals provided to her to accommodate her month-long fast?
I don’t know the answers. And I will not know them, most likely. I can only trust. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done . . .

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