on receiving. . .
I landed last night at Jomo Kenyatta airport after 2 months in the US, exhausted and impatient for my bags to circle the carousel so I could join david on the other side of the glass wall. David and the girls came back a month earlier than me this year, the longest we have ever been away from each other (and hopefully ever will be), and as we have lived life on separate continents for 27 days, the gifts and sacrifices our friends and family make daily to make our life possible came into sharp focus. . .
Our last days together in the States were marked by the comfort of deep friendships – of dreaming with people, seeing how the past five years has shaped their lives, and wondering at all we have done together while so far apart. Our years in Kijabe have deepened and strengthened these relationships, and we are anchored by them.
And as we separated, two communities combined to envelop us in care. . .
David and the girls were greeted in Kijabe with meals and friendship, sending me updates and snippets of their lives. I loved the times he answered a FaceTime call from a friend’s home, and rested easier with each text and photo, knowing that my family was seen and known.
In the US, people reached out to me on all sides – providing a home for me with the ease that made me feel an extension of family, sacrificing hours to get me from one city to another, planning residency reunions around me so that I could reflect and reconnect after a decade out of training, traveling and planning to celebrate my birthday with me early knowing an ocean would separate us on the actual milestone.
At some point in the month, my sisters asked me how I tend to sign my emails and letters now. . .the “valediction” or closing. . .it has changed throughout the years, varied and meandered in each phase of life. . . but in this stage the answer came easily.
“Grateful,” I said, and shook my head in wonder.
It has been 5 years of one extravagant generosity extended after another, and I am sitting in my home in Kijabe today, humbled by the endless receiving.