It’s almost time to come home. I wasn’t ready to even think about those words a month ago, but now I’m liking the way that last one sounds in my ears—home.
Laos has been so opposite from India, but looking back I’m just starting to realize what a gift it’s been to my heart in ways I can’t fully understand. I think I’ve found my little moments of usefulness here—helping Eric in the kitchen, doing dishes for Jennie, subbing at the homeschool co-op—but if I could sum up my time here in one succinct thought it would be one great big pause. India was intense, more intense than I think I was aware while I was in the midst of it. I crashed when I got here, and Kruses gave me more than enough time in the world to sleep in and think and read. They’ve let me eat with my hand at the dinner table and wear my saris and talk about all the things I love about India while my heart takes its own slow time to process and adjust and prepare to move on.
Laos has allowed me to catch my breath before jumping into whatever race is next. So many times the fast pace of western society throws us from one thing full speed into another and our minds and hearts are forced to learn to cope and keep up whether they possess the capacity to do so or not. It makes me wonder how many things we miss because we never slow down long enough for our hearts to have time to show us what they have discovered. Laos has given me that time and I sense a deep urge to be grateful. India is pulsing so vast and multifaceted within me, I know it will take years to find all my thoughts, but I’ve gained enough distance now to articulate some of the pieces. Plus I’ve eaten enough western food and seen enough tourists to wear away half the shock-value of landing back in the United States.
So home carries a tone of welcome and warmth, brings stirrings of anticipation. There has never been a moment when I haven’t missed home, but there have been moments when I was convinced the shock of culture would clamor so loudly I feared it could blot out the joy of being with those I love. Those fears are passing, so that I believe I can look for the faces of my family beyond security checkpoint at the airport with anticipation of everything that is warm and good and right. And then, for all of you in Nebraska, I’ll be making my rounds to collect and give the most gigantuous hugs ever.