Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dark Brown On White

A pillar of fog, steam climbs towards the ceiling. The new Gungor album plays to the beat of my wondering as it travels a road of mountains and grassy fields. The windows are both open and through them the outside comes in; a brisk, brilliant Fall day. Two sweaters wrap me up tight and this moment is beautiful as rice cooks in the corner and the music wanders on with my soul in tow. And for the first time in a long time I feel present in the moment, paying attention to what life consists of in the here and now. Warmth, rice, and melodies mixing and rising.

I look up to the brick wall and find deep brown eyes and lips smiling back at me. Pictures from another place. And it reminds me of the ever-present question that is asked of my today, "How was your experience?"

What a question! Does the "asker" even know what they have asked, I often wonder. Their care is apparent and is valued. But, how do I take the smile of a child and have words flow and form into the same picture?

For you hold the depth of an ocean in your eyes,
little one. The deep brown of wonder,
of love, of loss, of the growing your body still has to take.
Little one, your eyes are a pool of gentleness,
of grace that holds you together,
a grace foreign to your race.
Show them, little one, through eyes of light,
that loss and abandonment will not be the deciding factor tonight.
But, instead, show them your eyes,
the contrast of color: dark brown on white,
that constants aren't of this green and blue orb,
but of the light that pricks through the darkness;
stars on a canvas, black.
Look up, little one, and your eyes will reflect,
the beauty of the broken and a love that does not forget.

So, "How was your experience?" is a question we use as a definition, a point of quick collection, of summary. And I choose to respond with "life." Life happened and with it came immense joy, suffering, and a ton of learning!

May I, as a returned student missionary, continue to choose life and live out the lessons I have learned and let the joy I experienced seap through to my today where my experience becomes my reality which will continue to impact who I am and those around me. This is my prayer. May it be so.

*This is written in honor of those precious children who have stolen my heart and for my fellow returning Student Missionaries who answer this question daily.