Jeff is moving quietly, allowing me to sleep as long as possible.
I release to the awakening around 4:30. Sleep will be elusive now.
We talk quietly. Our difficult flight experiences yesterday. Travel.
Arrival in my dear Texas.
We are thankful to have traveled safely.
Thankful for our amazing children.
Thankful for each other.
I walk silently into the kitchen to make tea and I’m greeted by waves from the Cashlings. All awake soundlessly in the dark room.
“My body thinks it’s daytime, Mama,” Silas whispers.
We begin to move slowly in the morning dark. Enjoying the stretching of our legs. The comfort of a bed. Being safe, together, here.
We are cycling a travel cold. Stuffed noses and raw throats. Warm tea soothes and Tylenol eases.
Jeff has taken the sickness hardest. Any virus deeply affecting his weakened body.
He endured much yesterday. Thankful for his strength.
I sip my second cup of coffee. The caffeine does little to push back the weariness of jet lag. We must feel this until we don’t. There is no way around the tired. Just through it.
My brain seeks. Searches. Works through this transition.
Through the wardrobe.
Shifting of gears.
How to describe?
When we first moved to Uganda, seventeen years ago, someone mailed us the VHS tape of the movie Twister and I watched it over and over again. The movie was good, but it was the scenery that called me back. The camera shots of a wide, open sky. Tarmac roads. Scenes that reminded me of home. A place I understood.
Watching those landscapes soothed me then.
I remembered this feeling yesterday as I watched another movie on the airplane. There was a scene of arrival in an African airport.
And that same soothing, familiar feeling washed over me.
Africa. The Third World. Now the place I can negotiate and understand.
I am still shocked by this.
This being an alien.
Landing in Texas bears a deep familiarity. Volume and accent and a warmth of welcome. A manner of conversation and joking that I recognize and remember.
Football games. Church. Restaurants.
Kindness of strangers.
We have met such kindness in every culture we have passed through.
But when the kindness reaches you in a familiar accent it touches uniquely.
We have two nights, cozy in our hotel room, to sip hot tea. Rest our weary bodies.
And allow our brains to shift.
Tomorrow, we make one more flight.
To family. Hugs. Connection. Conversation.
This life is good. Rich. Full.
Even from weariness. Especially from weariness.
His Strength sustains. And He is ever, more real. Always Present.
“…And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”
“…they were longing for a better country---a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”