Life in Photos, Poetry & Words, Theology

Inside Outside

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

Spring here doesn’t approach slowly with neon green buds or opening blossoms. There is no fading ice, no crocuses or daffodils. Spring here is akin to a lobster in a pot of water, temperature unconsciously leaping upward, a baptism by immersion of drenched air and torrential rain until the whole wet world is submerged.

There is one month left between us and hurricane season, between us and and daily electrical storms. One month left until the six-month stretch of tropical storms begin and the canned goods stack up  under the countertop and the gallons of water in the closet are restocked and clocks are reset by the rhythm of cyclical thunder and the afternoons are spent inside.

Inside, outside, inside, outside, inside.

One month left until the sidewalks are rivers and the windows are our constant view to the outside deluge.

I want to see beauty in it this year. I want to see beauty in the spongey grass and the low skies and the waterlogged earth and the thick roadside ponds and the one single shade of green coating it all.  I want to see it for what it is, rather than what it is not. It is not the thin high skies specked with pollen and pine resin and wildfire, it’s not the sun-baked clay earth that shatters into a million immobile pieces every summer, it’s not twisted oak silhouettes or mountain ridges. The sunsets are pastel, not copper, but we are the same people here as we are anywhere.

This is a journey of becoming, after all, and a journey is not where you put on the skids and claw and pound your tent stakes in deeper and rage against the rain. Sojourning means you tend to your fires and your campsite wherever you are, keeping the light alive from dawn to dusk, no matter if you’ll pull up stakes tonight or in three months or in a year. You pull your loves in closer, you keep your eyes to the light, and in the darkness you see the One who pulls the tides and pushes the moon and punctured heaven to give you stars has not failed you yet.

And so you tarry, and so you sojourn, and so you live.

Life in Photos, Poetry & Words, Theology

Spelling out hope in all kinds of ways

June 2013 - Aveline waking up near window
June 2013 - Aveline looking out window

We wake up slowly this morning, the hum of the air conditioner and the dehumidifier a constant reminder of the tropical climate. They are the new silent, the steady noise which blends into the background and becomes a part of these walls and this life.

Outside, the landscapers’ lawn mowers rattle across the sidewalks and through the landscaping mulch, sending a spray of pebbles and bark across the bottom third of the front door. I cringe a little, thinking of the helpless, newly-transplanted moss rose and marigolds in terracotta pots on the front stoop.  The new pinwheel, whirring happily to the blast of mower exhaust, doesn’t mind. It just spins and blends the colors into a sphere anyway.

Aveline wants to see it all, and settles in by the second-story window to watch. It’s a Monday-morning routine, at least when the rain stays away long enough for the landscapers to trim and edge and cut and sweep.

Maybe later, we’ll spread out a towel on the narrow strip of sidewalk in front of the door, and sit side-by-side in the sun to “make ABCs” on the concrete, until our fingers and knees are covered in dusty blue and pink and yellow.

She wants to “make ABCs” with her pens and crayons and chalk, this one, not houses or trees or little boys and girls. She flips book pages and pretends to read, and screeches “TWO A’s!” whenever she spots a word which has, indeed, two letter A’s. She can’t pronounce her own name, but she can make a letter “T” from pretzel sticks, and she turns her felt number 2 upside-down to “make Z”.

I don’t know where she gets these crazy ideas. I know how it feels to love letters, though.

I love letters. I love the words you can make from them. I love that 26 characters can be scrambled and pushed into thousands and thousands of different orders to spell out love, or fear, or hope, or happiness.

May she grow up to spell out lots and lots and lots of hope.