Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Delighting in place

The other day, I got a text from a friend (Holly), asking me what I loved about where I am. The little question stuck with me, and that day I took note of some of the things that I especially delight in where I am. Usually, it's the hard things that stick with me and that I tend to communicate most with people back home. But it was a rewarding challenge that Holly gave, and I challenge you all as well to open your senses just a little wider than usual today to notice the joys of your place.

Here are mine:

- How juliet lifts her eyebrow in short jumps when she agrees with me
-How the old ladies titter with excitement whenever i sit with them and start speaking their dialect. "amtato!" "she understands!" I love speaking a powerless language. There is no use for it in the city, or even 30 minutes away in the lowlands, but here and now i speak the language of the old folks, the language that communicates more than I say - I care about their lives and their culture.
- I love my host family. they care for me and teach me compassion in little ways, like leaving hot water in the shower for me, or waking at 3 in the morning to cook sweet potato for my trip to Manila. They bid me to share about my family at home, to tell my stories and vulnerabilities at the same time that I listen to theirs.
-How in Imugan, there is no such thing as passing by someone you know with a simple greeting. You must sit down and talk for a little while, long enough to forget that you had somewhere important to go, before moving on with your feeling of being known and connected to community.
-I am learning to like throwing myself to the unknown - walking up a hill near our house after breakfast somedays and praying to encounter a new friend. Last time, I saw three ladies hiking to their swidden farm far in the forest. So I joined them and helped them weed. They told me they would find me a Kalahan husband soon, because the sooner I have children, the better. So if i don't return... jk
-I love fresh air and clouds. Mountains and vegetables from the mountains. Wild forest fruits before and after they are processed at the local processing plant. Life is buzzing, it is bursting at the seams (like my growing rice belly haha). I am feeling full here, now, with these people, in this place.

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