In a little over an hour the next year begins in earnest. I am exhausted. Yes, emotionally, but mostly physically. I'm running on about five or six hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. The emotions are dancing around the edges of my weariness, waiting to break out. I've come close to crying this trip already. I feel fragile.
And I feel alone. It sunk in while I was sipping my coffee bought with Canadian dollars that I really did not prepare for this trip. Obviously I was extraordinarily disorganized and did a shoddy packing job. But there has been even less mental prep, spiritual prep. The implications of leaving for a year still have not sunk in, nor has the weightiness of the various uncertainties. Other people have always handled the details for my overseas trips. They were the knowledge bearers before me. They let me focus on the spiritual, on caring for others. But now, it's just me. And I'm wondering about the basics--will I have a ride from the Beijing airport?
Either way, with all the doubts, the weariness, the feelings of loneliness; there is one thing I cannot deny. There is so much love for me in the pages of this journal. That means there is so much love for me in that city I've just left. That Portland. That home.
It came to me like an old friend a couple nights ago--this is my home. Portland is where I will return, in my heart and in my desires. I am not praying much these days, but my request is to be allowed to return. To really make it home. I wish it was easy enough to say I deserved it, to claim an equal trade for working as a wanderer these last years. But there is no deserving, there is only love.
Will I give it, no matter where I am, without reservation? Will I receive it, no matter where I am, without skepticism or doubt? It's much easier with these fellow broken vessels who are learning to live in love with and from me. God - that's harder. Despite my theorizing, it's hard to know (relationally, like conocer in Spanish) the love of God in these people who love me. But what else do I know of love? It grows on the Tree of Life in that Garden, lost in the fog. It grows at home.