my sister is a barista. on weekday mornings she serves the downtown community providing baked sweets and espresso drinks. many customers place an order, wait patiently, and leave once their order has been prepared.
i sit by the bar on those mornings and watch her perform. greet the customer. grind the beans. dispense the espresso. press. steam. pour. it's a dance. a perfectly organized ballet of drink preparation. i marvel when other employees pull her aside to ask what so-and-so's "usual" is, and hear her reply with the customer's preferred drink. coffee is more than a job to pay the bills for her. it is her art.
when i realize i will no longer be sitting at the bar on those mornings to watch her, i begin to question my choices. i sit on the edge of a path my feet had been treading for years to this moment i always expected to face. and i mourn for the things i will no longer have in my life.
we are always eager for more, for greener grass, and when that opportunity becomes available, we then realize the value of our known comforts. we gripe of mundane moments in our familiar wake, grind, dining, and sleep, and once those are no longer available to us, we feel naked and homeless.
i always knew i would feel such a way. and yet i kept running.
trust comes arduously to me. or rather, i come arduously to trust. we gathered our goods and gear, and all our accoutrements, and have set sail with yet a land in sight.
i fear so much. i have always prided myself on doing all the right things. i graduated college. on time. i always kept a job. never had to ask for money from anyone. never had to rely on anyone for anything (excluding free lodging from ma & pa - which i never actually asked for, really). i began applying for jobs months before i knew my current job would end, and i am here with nothing. entirely dependent on the unknown, fearful that i now have to accept i am not in control anymore. knowing that God does provide, but not resting in it. and i am here. forced to see the truth. maybe i am not better.
maybe a life of surety is not in the cards for us. maybe a life of safety and picket fences and health insurance is waiting for us somewhere else, on the other side of next month or next year.
and if we wait for everything to fall into place, we will never live.
if we wait, the times will pass by without us.
if i do not close my eyes and move, i will never know faith, and until now, i have never been forced to.
and God has been gracious. for though the jobs have yet to meet us, a home has. i suppose it could have been worse, with nothing waiting for us, in which case, i can guarantee i would have been a complete case of nuts.
this home is full of generosity, with the walls encasing security and love and out the doors, fresh air and freedom. but like all homes that have known life, this one has known loss. this one comes with ghosts of grief lingering in the corners. an unspoken fog of something-has-changed. a routine of searching for the new normal, and the awkward accustoming thereto.
but to all my friends, family, and church, i cannot think, speak, or write as i wish to. for years, i wanted nothing more than to leave the magnolia state, not realizing, at the time, that part of my soul would be left there when i did. all of you made me. because of you, i wish to be kind. because of you, i wish to be generous. because of you, i wish to be full of love and joy, and i wish to bring peace with every breath and word, because you were all of those things for me.
i pray for a community here that will bring all of those things, and yet, your names will never be replaced. and i grieve the absence of your daily presence. i pray for the courage to reach out to new friends with the grace you have all bestowed upon me. pray for our well-being, and remember us. i can assure you, we rest fondly each night in dreams for the could-be mixed with memories of the what-was. and you. i miss you all. my town. my streets. my river. my people.