As I sit here on New Year's Day half-heartedly wrapping up some obligations before I leave, I am scanning (trolling?) the Facebook world full of messages of hope and vision for the coming year. I feel disconnected in some way, as though the turning of the calendar page has either been delayed or completely replaced by my anticipated departure. I am not a very concrete-sequential kind of gal and so the work of planning and packing has been disjointed at best. I am pretty confident I will have forgotten something as well as been excessive. As a window into my private anxiety, I have two primary modes of dress - work clothes and anything I can throw on comfortably with jeans...neither defined as appropriate for travel to India. And so, I worry about whether I have packed the right attire - and that feels mighty petty.
I have read some great stuff and yet I worry I haven't read enough, prayed enough, prepared enough. Like I said of my expectations in the last post, I am trying to empty myself of these worries, pressures, anxieties. Lord, in your mercy, receive my prayer.
Camera, check. IPad, check. Passport and copies, check. Mosquito repellent, check. Doxycycline, check. Bible, check. Prayer beads, check. Well-wishes, check. Comfortable shoes, easily removed, check. Newly polished toes, check (c'mon...a girl needs travel toes...). Cash, check (not really...that's on tomorrow's list). Airline tickets, check. Journal, check. Expectations, laid aside.
Tonight Matt and I will celebrate the New Year honoring the memory of Nan and Charlie Powell by eating melted raclette with potatoes and sausage. I wish Nan were still here to share this journey virtually. And I know she is with me in spirit, whispering her awe and excitement, tossing in an occasional off-color remark or observation, pointing out those things I need to remember to read more about as I process in months yet to come. I go too with my father's curiosity, remembering the beautiful years he and my mom were able to travel the world between diagnoses. I will take things in for him along the way, praising his lessons in observation, curiosity and respect.
God, keep us safe and well, and help me open to all this trip has to show me about myself, about the world I seldom venture into, about our global condition as your beloved creation...amen.