Ital (eye'-tal): of or from the earth; vital; life giving; natural.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bird by Bird

When I was in college, I took a creative writing class where I was required to read Anne Lamott's book, "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life". I was immediately taken with Lamott's writing. Honest, poignant and eloquent, her directives for both writing and life are profound for their simplicity.

"Bird by Bird" has become something of a mantra for me...reminding me to place one foot in front of the other in a cadence of one step at a time. You cannot rush, jump, bulldoze, plow or race your way through this journey. It must unfold moment by moment, bird by bird.

So it is with the settling in of our home. Since our move in August, we have been living among stacks and piles, boxes and suitcases. Although I wrote about feeling "at home" in our new place, there was still some lingering feelings of transience compounded by the fact that all of our personal affects were boxed away, sights unseen. Part of my dis-ease at being gone for two months stemmed from this unsettled feeling. And part of the anxiety of returning was couched in the question, "What am I returning to?"

Much of the past six months have been clouded with uncertainty and self doubt. All areas of family, job, health and love have been affected. Have I made the right decisions for my children? Am I in the right career? Am I supporting my parents enough? Will my dad recover?

This New Year has already brought us many blessings. Upon our return to Kingston, we have fallen easily into a rhythm. We have been greeted with open arms from those we had left. The children are right back to basking in the warm sunshine and delighting in the fresh food. Mo has gained some esteem with his career. I am back to teaching, creating, cooking, learning. And our home is starting to feel like a real home...box by unpacked box...bird by bird...

Shine and Song's new room. Designed, painted and built by Mo and I.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chasing Rainbows

Halfway through the first month of the new year and I finally have some time to reflect on how 2012 has started for us. I guess I can't complain that my days, hours, minutes have been filled to the brim with mostly exciting activity...

We boarded our plane at JFK airport early Saturday morning on December 31st, 2011. The predawn taxi ride was very similar to the one that began our adventure on June 15, 2010. We arrived home just past 1pm in the afternoon, tired and hungry but happy to be back. Our house was quiet long before the midnight hour. (I think I took a quick rest in the hammock and said "Happy New Year" to Mo around 9:30pm.) We didn't miss ringing in 2012, however, because promptly at the stroke of midnight, our neighborhood erupted in fireworks! We sleepily greeted each other with wishes for a great New Year and rolled over and went back to sleep. I'm sure if we would have gotten out of bed we would have seen a spectacular sight...but we need something to look forward to in 2013~

Sunday morning we packed a small bag and set off to Manchester for our Christmas/New Year's celebration with Mo's parents. I have to say, it was one of the most lovely days. The children played joyously with their cousins, the adults ate and drank and laughed heartily. The sun shone and we basked in the simplicity of togetherness. Long after the children went to sleep, the adults sat around the dining table talking and laughing some more. We discussed everything from life and fate to politics to Dance Hall artistes to world banking practices. Some of it was very heavy, yet we laughed. I think that is one of the things I appreciate the most about Jamaican people...that in the face of adversity, they can laugh! That there is always a bright side to look on! I gained some important insights about Jamaican culture...my husband...his family...and myself during the course of the night. I am grateful for the experience and in time I will share more of what I learned from this wonderful night. It has helped immensely with our transition back to island life.

On Monday we returned to Kingston. For the entire journey we followed a complete double rainbow!! We could see both ends of both rainbows...and we could see where they touched the earth. It was absolutely incredible! I never saw a rainbow touch the ground before!! We delighted in this wonderful omen and gave thanks for the many blessings that we have.

This year is sure to have its challenges but we are optimistic about what is ahead.

Many blessings to you,

Image borrowed from the Internet. (Where's the camera when you really need it?)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcome (Back) to Jamrock

I'm here!
We're here!

It has been a wild ride but here we are settling back into our tropical routine. I have much to write about but seemingly little time to write these days. Our time in Central Pennsylvania was very special. It was wonderful to reconnect with everyone I hold so close to my heart. I'm grateful for the opportunity to step out of one world and into another.

In the coming days I will share our journey with you through pictures and words, thoughts and observations. We made it to Kingston in time to ring in 2012 with fireworks and rainbows and a new government in power. There is a lot of positive energy flowing here and I'm happy to take it all in. So far this New Year has been a truly awesome experience.

Until soon, many blessings to all of you!