Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Memories... and looking at the NOW

22 December 2010
I’m sitting in a circle of kitchen stuff from the past… realizing the good quality of the walmart pans I bought in NC, the nice glass Pyrex pans I inherited from my parent’s leftover wedding gifts when I moved away from home.  Beautiful Pfaltzgraff dishes that I bought at a garage sale just before moving on my own, and utensils that have been sitting in a box for the past year and a half.  A good portion of these are going with me back to Tanzania (now that we’re in a new house that’s not furnished, we need a LOT of kitchen utensils – and even plastic stuff there isn’t cheap!!!).  But there are a lot of things – the dishes, the glass liquid measuring cups, the Pyrex pans, that just can’t make it through a round-the-world trip to Africa.
 It’s funny.  These are things I knew I had, and was anxious to bring back.  But I forgot just how many memories were attached to them.  And now that I’m putting a lot of it back in a box – and giving the others to my mom to use in the meantime – it’s feeling a bit funny.  Like letting go a part of myself once again.
I was rereading Two from Galilee (by Marjorie Holmes) on the way home from Tanzania, which is a historical fiction based on the story of Mary and Joseph (and of course, Jesus!) in the beginning of Luke.  In the story, Mary and Joseph are getting ready to travel to Bethlehem for the census, and they’ve only been married for a few months if that.  They’re looking at the things that Joseph lovingly made for Mary for their wedding – a beautifully carved table, chairs, a hand-carved sewing box… and the handmade home that Joseph had labored to build.  And they wondered when they’d be back to see it.  (Turns out, not for a very long time!)

The funny thing is, the pair had no way of knowing that they wouldn’t be living in Nazareth for the rest of their lives.  And that’s kind of the way it is with me.  I don’t know what the future holds.  I was reminded the other day that I need to “put down some sort of roots” or act like I’ll be somewhere long enough to get a piece of furniture built, because otherwise I’ll always feel like I’m in limbo.  And so with that, my pots and pans are heading back to Africa with me.  BUT at the same time, there are lots of things that I bought before I realized I was quickly going to Africa.  And they were things I needed at the time… and still could use, if transport was an option!  The thing is that I’m realizing I need to plan for the future, yes… but I also need to live more fully in the moment.  Because if I’m always worrying and thinking about the next five years, I’m never going to be able to fully experience, appreciate, and settle into living in the here and now… wherever that might be!

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