Small mercies. . .
In the chaos of a move to another continent, we have seen small mercies in abundance. . .
in our last wedding in NJ being full of laughter and golden light, a perfect farewell to the career that has carried us for 10 years
in a friend willing to fly to Baltimore to ease the exhaustion of our last 20 hour drive before our flight and remind us of the love and care that surrounds us
in surprise visits from busy friends to send us on our way and hugs that brought laughter and warmth during long hours on a plane that followed
in each of our bags weighing exactly 49 lbs when we checked in at the airport
in the girls’ walls painted the perfect shade of lavender in our new house to match the new blankets I had brought from the States for their beds
in the only large scrap in a bag of fabric being deep purple and enough to cover the bulletin board in their room
in a family moving from Nairobi 2 weeks ago and leaving the exact four beds we needed for our new home in Kijabe – that fit the rooms like they had been made for us
in friends we met 5 years ago for a photo-shoot welcoming us and guiding us throughout the first overwhelming shopping experience – sacrificing precious hours to give peace of mind, saying “who knew, then, that we would get to do life together?”
in the only large white refrigerator at the Nakumatt (and last of that one in the store) being the perfect size for the space in our new kitchen
in the frame for the white board left in our home being the perfect width to stretch the canvas brought from home to hang in our new living room
in the hospital retreat being days after we landed so I can see the hospital in full, its structure and vision, and see the wisdom and kindness that will surround me
in our curtains, carefully packed from home, being the perfect size for our windows despite my lack of foresight to measure
in the bag of jumbo marshmallows left on the upstairs shelf that we ate while we unpacked
in meal after meal to welcome us and homemade cinnamon rolls and zucchini bread to allow us to focus on settling and not on food
in our house being one of few that will get unlimited internet so we can upload and download pictures with ease
in the girls sleeping through the night perfectly in our move and seeming unfazed by jet-lag so they could start school our second day in Kenya
in the ancient blinds we found in the back of our kitchen cabinet and the tapestry needle I threw in our bag at the last minute to restring them so we have perfect light and privacy for our room
in a birthday party when we had been here less than a week so my girls feel a part of this world here, and scraps of ribbon and a silver beaded belt to make party appropriate costumes at the last minute
in birthday hats and signs and balloons for Belle, when I had not even figured out which day her birthday would fall
and finally, in a letter, written 27 years ago to my mom as a second grade assignment. We were told to write 20 years in the future from wherever we were. I was a few years off, but after we bought our plane tickets, my mom pointed out the date at the top –
September 24 . . . the day we arrived in Kijabe.
In a stilted 7 year old hand, only learning to write, I told her “I got a new job today. . . I have a white uniform and special gloves. . . I’m heading for Africa. I figure it’s best. Well, I have to go now. bye. Love, Arianna”
Simple mercies and reassurance, that in all the goodbyes and hellos, the confusion and transition, that all is as it was planned to be.