-sharing reflections on what I've heard and am hearing, learned and am learning,
from voices in the Holy Land, the USA, and Rwanda-

Saturday, June 18, 2011

right now's the only moment that matters

It's hard to believe how quickly my return to the States is approaching.  School officially ended this past Wednesday when the older students came to get their certificates and ever since then I have been moving from one place to the next saying the first goodbyes to students, colleagues, and friends.  Needless to say, I don't like it very much--I have never been one to move through transitional periods smoothly and this is no exception.  

My defense mechanism used in trasitions past?  Preparation.  If I prepare my mind enough for what's coming, I'm generally able to roll with the punches and do what I've gotta do for as smooth a transition as possible, and frankly, I thought I had the system figured out.  My quick transitions out of college and into camp last summer went much more smoothly than I had thought they would.  My time at W&M meant so much to me and my senior year was especially wonderful for a plethora of reasons, yet I left the College looking ahead with eagar anticipation for the next chapter of life.  Thankful for all W&M gave me, I rolled into camp with bucket loads of college memories and a readiness to tackle the great outdoors for another summer.  Throughout the summer, I likewise anticipated the quick transition into my YAGM year so that the four days between camp and in-country orientation in Chicago were filled just with family and friends, void of the typical emotional transition time moments.  I surprised myself with how smoothly all of those transitions played out.

Yet, as I look at my calender to find that I'll be heading back to the bustle of the Metro-DC so soon, I can't seem to put a finger on how to prepare my mind for this transition.  I cannot see myself leaving, but I also cannot see myself staying here past our departure date.  I want to be with family and friends back home, but I don't want to go from my community here.  I hope everyone will listen to what I have to say and understand everything I tell them, immediately sharing the same passion about what is going on in this area of the world.  Yet, recognizing how little I actually knew before I came here, I know it will be almost impossible to share every experience, relationship, and realization with people back home expecting them to "see" everything I've seen without ever having been here.  If you can't tell, I hit a wall in my scheme to "prepare" myself fully for this upcoming transition.  All I know is that time seems to have sped up. 

With two and a half weeks left between now and leaving the country, all I can do is take every moment I can to be in this place, with this community, among this family.  Maybe I cannot wrap my head around the upcoming transition because it is not time to leave quite yet--I'll take the hint and live in the moment.  Maybe the best preparation for the upcoming transition will be to simply prepare for whatever emotions come and embrace them when they do arrive.  Even as I smile to think of welcoming bear hugs from family and friends back home and tear-up to imagine the last moments spent with my family and friends here, I continue to rejoice in all I have experienced and for all those experiences still to come. 

"seems to me that right now's the only moment that matters...
come write your wisdom on my heart,
and teach me the power of a moment" 
-Chris Rice

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