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I find myself in an odd position tonight, stuck somewhere familiar between exhaustion and illumination. It’s only odd because I have not been here in recent months- perhaps even in the last year. My body is collapsing around me, melting into the chair and begging for a bed, but my mind is alight with inspiration and opinions. Odd.

At school, I used to find myself in this position almost everyday in that short time between classes and dinner. I would lay on the hard floor of my dorm room as the sunset lit my red table-cloth-turned-curtain on fire. Thought would bounce around in my head until I, inevitably, drifted off to sleep for a few moments before the other girls would come and wake me for dinner. If I was lucky, the thoughts would make it to the pen and then to paper before my eyes closed, but that was an oddity of its own.

In the summers, these moments were more rare, but more precious for it, coming only a few mornings a week when I was able to collect myself. As required by my position, I would wake up at first light and go down to the water’s edge, wrapped in a blanket, craddling my lifegaurd’s whistle. The sun would rise before me, bleary-eyed, awaiting the beginning of another day. My illumination ultimately turned to prayers, never finding its way to the page. I don’t regret this at all.

Tonight, there is no sun, whether rising or falling. Darkness has long-since become the victor, yet again. And here I am attempting to turn illumination into motivation to complete another twenty-pages of reading. Then, perhaps, into another twenty pages more.

I just feel so alive. So present.



Two days ago, I drove along the dyke to leave the island for some grocery shopping. The sun was burning off a thick layer of fog revealing a beautiful view of farms closeby and mountains in the distance. Looking around at the vibrant colours, I had to remind myself that it is January- here, even the winter is green. For a moment, I pined for snow, but quickly remembered that snow rarely coincides with the warmth I have become accustomed to in the last week.

Yesterday, as Lucas and I wandered along a hiking trail just a mile from the house, the United Postal Service man arrived with 16 carefully packed boxes in tow. It was a nice surprise to arrive home to find them sitting on the front portch. Soon though, I felt a flood of emotion and dread wash over me as I realized I would need to unpack said boxes.

Even so, I began to unpack. Most everything arrived in the condition it was sent. Some things were a ltitle squished, tangled or upsidedown. The only causulaties to the journey were a tiny christmas orniment and a painting my friend Jessy did for me years ago. I will not lie and say ‘it’s no big deal’, but it isn’t the end of the world. I managed to glue the orniment back together, and the canvas on which the actual painting lie, was peeled from the shards of glass with only minor damage. Mostly, I am just happy to have all my things here. It is comforting in an unexpected way to be able to look at the bookshelf and be able to locate any of my favorourite books.

Among many other things, today I am thankful to have Gary here with me. He has done an excellent job of demanding my attention from time to time enabling me to take the breaks I need. Cats know an aweful lot about human sanity- Gary is teaching me. It might sound silly to you, but my little kitten is a God-send. He needs me, but I too, find myself needing him for a multitude of things I cannot comprehend.


Tonight, my little kitten is trying to run the three-minute mile around our little room while I think about heaven. Forgive me if I sound like a crazy cat lady, but it was because of Gary I got to thinking about heaven in the first place. Though I suppose if I say that, I should also say that the failing of Lucas’ computer is also somewhat responsible.

Some time on Monday, Lucas’ computer sent itself into a downward spiral ending in the blue screen of death, unable to turn on. We tried everything within our abilities to revive the silly piece of technology, but everything was not enough. Yesterday we finally surrendered: backed up our important files and reset the computer to factory settings. The whole process took a while, but it was successful in the end. When Lucas left for work, I was left with the charge of re-loading all the programs and files onto the ‘new’ laptop. However, nevering having the oppertunity to have done this and therefore no clue that it would take five hours, I plugged the computer and the external hard drive into the room in which gary lives.

To protect the laptop from my curious little kitten, I reached for the nearest hard-cover book to open across the keyboard. I hands landed upon Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. As I stroked the cover, I found myself in a cascade of memories from conversations, books, classes, and images about heaven.

I recalled reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven– a book that has stuck with me for years despite its odd theories about the hereafter. I thought about the many common images of golden streets, clouds, and clean white robes. Finally, my thoughts settled on a discussion during a Reigion and Popular Entertainment class. I have no idea how the topic came about, nor how it resolved, but I do remember that we talked about heaven. A heaven where all the best parts of each culture would come together to create diverse perfection.

In particular, I got to thinking about food and heaven. I do love food. Perhaps I love it, all kinds of it, a little too much. I sincerely hope that God will allow us to eat in heaven- and all the best foods of each culture at that. Simply the greatest Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Greek, even American! Heaven will be perfect and amazing no matter if we can eat or not, but I like to think that if God let Adam and Eve eat, He will continue that in Glory.

The hope of heaven is  really quite an incredable and beautiful thing- food or not.


Post-Script: Gary has managed to tire himself out and is now sleeping at my side.

On a dark, cool night in oregon, what better to do than curl up with an over-tired kitten. Tonight, my kitten of choice is the newest addition to the family- adopted only yesterday. I have been waiting a long time for this little guy, so long in fact, that I didn’t even know it was him I had been waiting for. But, after months of web-site-searching and two visits to the humane society: there he was.

Norton. Okay, so he badly needed a name-change and a little bit of love to make him feel safe. It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but it was not far from it. His new name is Gary and he is the most lovely, playful little kitten I have ever met.  This morning he ran around for two hours straight and has slept most of the day away ever since.

So, after many months of waiting, here we are. Gary and I on a couch, one of us drinking tea. It’s not a thrilling night full of adventure, but it is a wonderful night hat could only be better if Lucas didn’t have to work.


It wasn’t until the landing gear unfolded and the wheels began to spin on the pavement that I understood: it is over.

A moment, fifteen months in the making, came without and spectacular fanfare. I doubt anyone else even noticed the significance of a 20-seater plane landing in Portland, Oregon on time- as usual. The flight attendant looked bored as we taxied down the runway toward the terminal; the other passengers looked around at each other wondering how long the baggage would take. I sat perfectly still and cried. It was over.

So many things are new again- which I realize is an oxymoron itself. After fifteen months, even the mundane seems new again. But, perhaps more than ever, even the little things seem brighter and more full of possibility. Lucas and I are re-starting our life together in a small farming community outside the city, working, drinking tea, learning, and passing the time in God’s will as much as we can.

Come along for the journey.


a tea for everything

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