Since I used to write more regularly, life has felt like a big wave (dramatic metaphor alert?). Everything we knew in Scotland has been pulled back to sea in a suctioned rush, and feeling the new water push to fill its place is still overwhelming. I miss opening the door to gull drifts on sea air. I miss coming in for warmth instead of for cool. Even though New York is exciting and there are new things to love here, for far too long, I have thought about how things would be if we were still in St Andrews. I've wanted to just takeadeepbreathandmoveon. I'm seeing now why it's taken so long.
Part of the reason writing has been hard is that this blog is about noticing gifts, and gifts have been hard to see. I haven't been finding gifts because I've been staying distant from their setting. I have found here a more broken world than I knew. A world where children in my neighborhood have not eaten in a day. And with every unpleasant smell, every less-than-pleasant subway ride, I have wished myself back in a calm country. What I have missed in my anxious grasp for familiarity back is that right now, I need this setting to see the brilliance of the gifts about which I write, to even find the gifts in the first place. Real joy comes in imperfection, and does not live only by the sea.
Nothing in me likes looking at the brokenness here. But it is here, today that gifts are being given to me, and not the past. I forget them when my mind tries to fix everything my way, I forget that they are proof that the fix exists. Even in this messy world, there is not only hope for a someday perfect world, but real, daily, precious favor. Proof that we are loved.
Three months into New York, the waters of change are feeling temperate, calmer. For having been moved out of expecting gifts to savoring them, from having moved from dreading the separations to appreciating the moments of connection---I will pray more.
For instants of grace.
(belated photos from our delightful trip to Maine)