It was a rare sunny moment on a Tuesday afternoon. Rain had poured down every day since I touched down in the motherland. I was sitting on the sofa in the front room of my Uncle’s house, watching my cup of tea go cold and exploring some new places on my ukulele.
As I tried to figure out a B minor 7, I looked around the room. These walls held so many memories. These walls were saturated with conversations about times long gone, bouts of laughter that made our sides hurt and everyday family exchanges of “what’s for tea?” and “how was your day?” These walls had watched the hands move around the clock as hours were spent just enjoying one anthers company over a good cup of tea, biscuits, Indian food and Peter Kay.
The last couple of weeks had been filled with precious time with some sorely missed relatives. I thought about the upcoming wedding and the pure delight I had for my cousin as she embarked on a new adventure. Her and her fiancé’s story was one of true beauty that brought me joy and endless amounts of admiration for the One who weaves each of our lives together.
My ukulele, getting worn out from all the exploring, was slowly sliding out of tune. I swung my legs out from beneath me, and began the “eye-squinting, head-tilting, eyebrow-wiggling” process of tuning up. I was fiddling with the c-string when a shadow danced across the wall. I looked up to see a deceptively broad pair of shoulders and a flop of hair walking past the bay window to the front door.
As I listened to the door sliding open, I smiled to myself. A large part of me was still shocked that the hyperactive, skinny firewire of a boy I knew as my goofy little cousin had disappeared with time. The boy who always had a joke to crack and somewhere else to be, he had grown up. Remarkably, the hyperactive bottlerocket grew into one of the smartest, and most contemplative people I have ever met. I relished the time I got to spend with him, picking his brain and asking about his thoughts and ideas.
He strolled into the room, smiled and said “Mum said dinner should be ready soon.”
"Nice." I replied. My mind still on the walking, talking, breathing timeline in front of me.
"Alright then…" He turned to leave the room and shut the door behind him.
"Wait a minute," I blurted out. "Could you grab your guitar?"
He looked at me. Slightly uncomfortable and embarrassed.
I had become used to being blunt and forward while I was in England. I had a very tangible understanding that my time here was limited. So, if I wanted to hear somebody play an instrument, or take a photograph (or seventeen) or give them a hug, I didn’t have the luxury of letting these things pan out naturally. Waiting to see if maybe these things would come up on their own in a situation wasn’t an option for me.
And there’s no way to casually drop into a conversation, “I want to hear you play guitar/sing/take a photograph. I need to do it now, because this is all the time I have. We may never be here again, I may never get this chance again.”
But really, isn’t this how we are supposed to function? Asking blatantly for the things we want? Why are we so afraid of confronting the things we enjoy and desire? Why are we so unwilling to yield to someone else’s desire to enjoy us, all the different parts of us and what we do?
He glanced at the floor, and walked out of the room. He returned quickly with his guitar, and plopped down on the sofa. I had a few different sheets of music in front of me. I grabbed the easiest four-chorder and placed it on the top of the pile. I started strumming, and without hesitation, he joined me.
It was just four chords, over and over. C. G. A minor. F. I loved the sound of my bright little ukulele next to the deep, mellow guitar. The sun peeped out from behind the clouds, filling the living room with warmth and light. The walls illuminated, and I wondered if they were enjoying this experience. This one time only, beautiful little nugget in the middle of everyday exchanges.
I glanced over, his hair was flopping into his eyes. I saw the little boy who ran around the house too fast, who kicked a hole into my bedroom wall, who chased me around the garden and pushed me off the trampoline. But now, I also saw the big brother, who helped grandma with her garden gate, her alarm clock, and directions to drive through Liverpool. I saw a guy fascinated by theology and ideas, who wanted to understand some of the mysteries of this world. I saw a good friend, with a good heart. He caught me looking, and a funny little grin appeared on his face.
"Aren’t you going to sing it, then?"
I smiled. Initially I would have been coy, bashful. You’re supposed to act like you don’t want to sing, right? And the other person has to try and convince you, sway you, and eventually beg you.
I loved the blunt simplicity of his request. I wanted to sing, and I wasn’t going to be shy about it.
"Though the Earth Cried out for blood Satisfied her hunger was Her billows calmed on raging seas for the souls on men she craved
Sun and moon from balcony Turned their head in disbelief Their precious Love would taste the sting disfigured and disdained
On Friday a thief On Sunday a King Laid down in grief But awoke with keys Of Hell on that day The first born of the slain The Man Jesus Christ Laid death in his grave
So three days in darkness slept The Morning Sun of righteousness But rose to shame the throes of death And over turn his rule
Now daughters and the sons of men Would pay not their dues again The debt of blood they owed was rent When the day rolled a new
He has cheated Hell and seated Us above the fall In desperate places He paid our wages One time once and for all”
By the time we strummed the last chord, dinner was ready. The house was filled with the sounds of other family members arriving home, the telephone ringing, and the six o-clock news. I put my ukulele down, and He put his guitar back. I knew in my heart that for now, that was all I would get. But honestly, that was all that I needed and it was enough.
The orphan clings to Your hand Singing the song of how he was found
The weather today has been dismal. As I kneaded the dough for the bread, I stood staring out the window. I watched the droplets race down the glass. I saw the plants, a lush and vibrant green, buckling under the weight of the water. I watched puddles forming on the patio slabs. When you zero in on the details of everyday life, it’s hard to believe that there are choices, feelings and situations that are colossal and can affect the very way we build up and behave in our lives.
I leave the dough to rise, dust the flour from my fingertips, and unleash my hair from the messy bun it’s trapped in. I sit on Kirstie’s sofa, look out at the grey sky and thank God for this trip and everything that has happened on it. I think one of the biggest things I have learned from this trip is that possibilities are endless. If I wanted to pack up and move somewhere new, have a certain lifestyle, be surrounded by certain people, I can. I could move to Paris, buy a small dog, take up smoking and spend the rest of my days speaking French and coughing illuminated by the city of lights. I don’t want to do that, but I can if I wanted to.
At some point along this journey, I gritted my teeth and promised myself not to hesitate anymore. When an opportunity arises, don’t calculate it and just go for it.
If you’ve ever been around me for more than 15 minutes, you’ll probably notice that I’m rather clumsy; I’m just not very steady on my feet. I’ve always avoided physical activity, for fear of gravity and what it will do to me. However, this trip, I have thrown some of my caution and fears to the wind, and have run into the unknown.
I’ve been rock climbing. I went slack lining. I have worn purple trousers and big eye-liner. I have started drinking tea. I have tried baking bread. I have played ukulele to a room of strangers and sang to them of how much God loves them. I acted like a child again, and jumped to new heights on a trampoline, did cartwheels and teddy bear rolls. I walked through a field of cows with horns. I went traveling on trains by myself with suitcases I couldn’t carry. I struck up conversations with cute boys without a beat of “What will he think of me?” I’ve had a great time.
This trip has had a good rhythm to it. Let’s keep this groove going.
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
I’m a complete sucker for quotes. I love scribbling them down in my journal, posting them as my status, and animating them on mixed CD’s. I especially love quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt. Good old Ellie! She’s just so smart and quotable, and when she wasn’t thinking up quotes, she was being First Lady! What a broad.
Anywho, as much as I love quotes, I find that no matter how many times I read them in my journal or how many likes my status gets on facebook, they don’t really have an impact on my life. I don’t really end up having a day that lives up to the standard of living these quotes talk about.
However, a day came along this week that upheld the ideas behind the quotes I hold so dear.
I’m not much of an outdoorsy kinda person but when I saw pictures of Hilbre Island, I decided I had to check it out. I imagined it would be a walk on the beach, ending in a little gentle slope to the top of the island.
We set out from West Kirby and began our journey across the sand. The sky was bright, the island looked lush ahead, and the day was young. We made it to Little Eye, the smallest of the three islands and enjoyed the scene.
We continued on, into what I thought was just more sand. I was very wrong. We ended up in the middle of muddy rocks, spread out all around us. With my feet caked in mud, I stood amid what seemed an endless expanse of slippery, perilous rocks. I didn’t know where to turn.The only thing to do was to keep going forward and hope that the rocks became un-slippery ahead. I never thought I would be so thankful for kelp to stand on. Wherever I stood, I was slipping and I fell over twice. Fortunately, my adventure companions were very gracious and helped me upwards and onwards (and only giggled at me a little bit).
The rocks eventually dried out, and we made our way around to the side of Middle Eye. Kirstie, being the smart cookie she is, made her way off the slippery rocks early on, and had a gentle walk on sand to the top of the island. Alex, Jake and I ended up on the cliff side of Middle Eye, with the slippery rocks of death behind us, and a thirty foot cliff before us.
I began to panic. The rocks where I couldn’t stand up without falling was one thing. Climbing up a mini-cliff side was a whole other terrifying prospect. I had no upper body strength. I had never rock climbed before. I didn’t have a helmet or knee pads. I have never even broken a bone. I don’t even have a phone to call my family to say goodbye! Panic. Panic. Panic.
For some reason, in the middle of my panic, I remembered a quote I wrote down everywhere and was obsessed with in seventh grade. Eleanor Roosevelt’s words began to echo in my mind, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” I clenched my jaw, set my sights on the top of Middle Eye and began to climb.
With Kirstie cheering me on at the top (and squealing in fear when I got a bit wobbly) and Jake and Alex guiding me forwards, I (slowly) made my way up the cliff. The higher up the cliff I got, the more I experienced a feeling that I’m not too acquainted with. It started in my heart, spread to the tips of my fingers and the soles of my feet.
I felt so powerful. I felt like I could do anything. As I pulled myself up on to the top of Middle Eye and took in the sea, the cool breeze and the incredible clouds crowding the sky, I felt like anything was possible. Limitations, doubts and restrictions seemed silly, I had left them far below. It seemed like in that moment, anything I focused my attention and determination on would be… possible.
The rest of the day passed with more walking, tripping, rain, giggling, singing, ice-cream enjoying, music playing and fun-having. It was certainly a day to remember.
I think I will climb cliffs more often. Physically and metaphorically. Way to go, Eleanor Roosevelt. Thanks for your help.
Greetings! Let’s retrace my travels for the last couple of weeks, and give you a proper break down of what I’ve been up to (as I know you are all in a desperate state of question wondering what my travels have consisted of…)
I spent the weekend at Keele University with Beccy, which was lovely. I got to experience “student/ uni life” for approximately 5 days, and I loved every moment of it. I shared meals with “the medics” and listened to them discussing their final examinations, the Jeremy Kyle Show, religion, Irish mothers and weddings; It was a time that will always make me giggle upon recollection.
I ate Sunday Dinner with an Aunt and Uncle, which was a British Roast dinner with Jamaican infusion. I’ve never had Roast Beef with curry sauce, but it was delicious! The company was also enjoyable as we watched BBC1 with the Queen’s Flotilla celebrating 60 years of sitting…. upon a throne.
I spent a few days with some dear family in Wales. We puzzled through scrabble, debated who would make a better batman than Christian Bale (Colin Farrell, seriously?!) and took a walk or two in the rain. It was perfect.
After this, I went on my cousin’s hen weekend in Anglesey. We did nails, listened to Shania Twain, went out for a gorgeous meal (I want to bathe in that gravy. Well, no, I don’t want to bathe in gravy. But I would definitely give it a prize for “most delicious gravy I have ever consumed.” Close enough.) It was a perfect girly weekend. Anglesey is gorgeous. The drive to Anglesey is also gorgeous. You drive by steep drops scattered with huge rocks, and the clouds lie low enough to drape the whole scene in grey bleakness. But the size of these formations is just awe-inspiring. I felt so small and insignificant (which is a good thing to experience sometimes.)
Since, I have spent the week with my (stay with me) mum’s brother’s family. And, again, it’s been perfect. Life is good. I am beyond blessed.
Though, throughout all this traveling and time-spending and chatting, a lot of inner-self examining has been taking place. Getting away from everything that is so routine has been eye-opening for me. I’m finding out things about myself that I never knew before. Some of the things, I love! (Like I really don’t look to bad with my hair up, and I’m a more patient person than I originally thought I was.) And some of the things I don’t really like (I’m not as an adventurous an eater as I originally thought, and I don’t think am much as I should before I speak.) Every person I have spent time with has been lovely, fun, gracious and thought-provoking.
It’s also making me re-examine a lot of things in my life that I have just stored away in a cardboard box in the attic of my mind. When people have asked what or why, I have had to really think about it. I’ve had to retrace my footsteps up to the attic, push through all the clutter, blow years of dust off the box I am looking for and watch the particles dance through the sunlight as I really dig for the answer.
There are so many questions that I don’t have the answer to. Big questions that totally stump me. I could talk around them for hours, bring up examples, quote philosophers, and present details, but the answer remains a mystery.
It’s unnerving when some of the pillars of what you believe seem shaky. When you begin to examine what it is you believe and why you believe it. When those pillars begin to shake, everything else around us seems more vulnerable and unsteady. Things that have seemed unmovable and solid suddenly look quite small.
Yet, at the heart of my questions, at the center of this whirlwind I’ve gotten caught up in, is the one thing I know will not change. He grabs my hand, holds me close and calms my fears. I know He will not change. When there are voices from every side shouting opinions of theology, religion, belief systems, rules and religion, he holds me tight and whispers words of comfort and love. And this is enough, keeping things simple is enough for me. I don’t have the answers to everything, but this I do know: He always knew me, He calls me lovely, Heaven holds me.
I can’t believe I’ve been in England for 32 days. Each one has been absolutely incredible so far. Whether it’s been spent wandering through the streets of Paris, making wedding favours, eating ice cream on Worthing Pier, playing ukulele with friends, riding on trains, or being a right tourist, each one has been special, memorable and, well, rather perfect.
My Aunty Chris and I decided we wanted to go on an adventure so we decided to spend a long weekend in Paris. We caught the train over there, and spent about 3 days in France. We went into Paris expecting to find it polished, formal and everything typically “French.” But that’s not what Paris is at all.
Paris is indescribable really. It’s everything you’ve ever heard about it, and loads more as well. It’s rich in history, pulsing with chatter, shouting, music and the growls of traffic. It’s got some of the rudest people I’ve ever met, and a few really kind souls as well. Everywhere you turn, someone is taking a picture, someone is rushing to get somewhere else, lovers are canoodling, and people are drinking espresso.
We expected to see poodles, really posh Parisian women, accordians on every corner and French food available for the eating. Paris has been fully invaded by every culture in the world, so much so that “typical French” is a bit difficult to find. We ended up eating at an Italian place, a falafel restaurant, and a meditarannean type restaurant. We ended up meeting people from all over the world: Denmark, Spain, Scotland, Canada, America, Korea, China, Senegal, India and Chile.
We found out that Parisians really love their dogs. There are more dogs in Paris than there are children. They’re also in love with sushi. The marais district was overflowing with sushi restuarants! The major attractions are also overflowing with illegal immigrants from Senegal and Tunisia (and probably lots of other places) who stand all day trying to sell models of the Eiffel Tower and postcards of major landmarks. The moment you reach for your wallet to buy something from one, four or five other vendors descend on you and start shouting better prices at you. We were at Versailles and two of the men started pushing and yelling at each other over who got to sell what to us. This was an aspect of Paris that broke my heart.
We never found the famed Parisian woman, draped in fantastic clothing, dripping with expensive jewelry, strutting down the street like it’s a catwalk. Parisian women are less like pampered poodles and more like modern amazon women on the warpath. They wore stilettos while riding a 500 cc motorbike, their eyeliner drawn on like crayon ready to destroy a man with a single glance. They swear like sailors, and don’t care how loud they speak. Their hair, instead of looking perfectly in place, looked windswept, wavy and unpolished, like it still had last nights’ hairspray in it. I like amazon parisian women better than the legends I had heard about previously. They look strong, confidant and happy. I hope I was able to absorb some Parisian myself while I was away.
Back in England, I spent time in Worthing, a smallish town right on the Southern coast. While I was there I was thoroughly blessed by the people I was staying with. There’s something about the ocean and the beach and that house that just speaks to my spirit. Sitting on the train from Worthing to Stoke-on-Trent, I let a tear or two escape while the girls opposite talked about getting high at Bella’s house last weekend. Another place I will sorely miss, more people I feel I can’t do life without.
But once I got to Stoke-on-Trent, the excitement of reuniting with a lovely cousin got me excited again. We hugged awkwardly over my suitcases while everyone in the pumpkin cafe watched. We dragged my luggage to her tiny little yellow car and ended up in a heap of giggles before she could even pull the car out.
"It looks like nobody is going to let me out here." -Beccy.
"It’s fine! We’ve got all the time in the world! No rush." -Me
"Well, maybe not all the time in the world. It’s a 20-minute parking limit." -Beccy
So, now on to Chester and a hen weekend! And reunions with family. And a wedding! Life is good. Goodbyes aren’t forever. Hellos are really fantastic. And I’ll sign off with a quote that’s really consoled me these past few weeks.
"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning." - Ivy Baker Priest
I grabbed one of my two suitcases and dragged it over to the train doors. Jim, Sarah’s Dad, had my other case and was giving me a hand. The doors opened and people began scrambling on and off. I was so nervous the train would just pull away I half-ran onto the carriage.
"33A. 33A. Where on earth is seat 33A?!"
I passed the first luggage rack. Full. Where on earth could I put these two huge cases? I craned my neck to see the other end of the carriage, and noticed another luggage rack at that end. Jim and I began to wade up the aisle, the two bags clunking every seat and catching everyone’s shoulder.
"Sorry. Sorry. Pardon Me. I apologize!"
While injuring every aisle-seated passenger in carriage F, I was frantically trying to find my seat 33A and make it to the other end of the carriage to the luggage rack. Half way up the carriage, I found my seat, to the disappointment of 33B. He didn’t look too happy to see me drop my bag onto my spot, though I gave him my cheeriest grin, trying to convey the message: “I’m not crazy, I’ll be a great seat buddy. Please don’t steal anything from my bag. Don’t judge me from my abundance of cases that I can’t carry through the aisle.”
"Can you move?"
I glanced up and realized that a troop of people had begun to filter in from the other end of the carriage. I was now, with Jim’s help, blocking the aisle with 82 pounds of luggage contained in two bulky cases. I took another look at the luggage rack we were heading too and my jaw dropped. It was now completely full! What was I going to do with the cases? I can’t just leave them in the aisle. What if there was a fire? How would we escape?
"Excuse me, I think she’s trying to get your attention."
I looked in the direction that 32D was pointing and saw Angela, Sarah’s Mum, waving frantically. Mina, Rich’s girlfriend, stood with her hands on either side of her face peering in the window. I gave her a worried look, and turned back to Jim. What should we do?
"Just sit down! What’s your problem?"
I’m usually a pretty calm person. But at this point, with every passenger in the carriage either injured or inconvenienced by myself and my suitcases, I was frazzled and I spun around to Mr. Newspaper and Mars Bar.
"I. CAN’T. SIT. DOWN. RIGHT. NOW. I have TWO suitcases that have nowhere to go. Would you like me to just leave them here in the aisle? I can if that’s what you want."
After receiving a pretty dirty look from Mr. Newspaper and Mars Bar, he grumbled and sat down in a free seat. I turned back to Jim. We stood there, suitcases between us and puzzled. I was about to tell Jim to get off the train when the whole carriage shook. I glanced out the window and saw Mina and Angela’s jaws drop.
"The train’s moving."
My own jaw dropped. I turned to Jim, and his mouth was open with shock. I looked back out the window, and the station began to roll away.
"THE TRAIN’S MOVING."
I didn’t know what to do! I was on a train plunging onwards to Southampton, trapped between two unmovable suitcases with my best friend’s Dad, who was not supposed to be on a train plunging onwards to Southampton. I turned to Jim, unsure of what to say or do. We caught each others eyes, and collapsed into a roaring fit of laughter. We leaned on the stupid suitcases for support, tears streaming down our face unable to control ourselves.
"Do you mind? This IS the quiet carriage."
From beneath my tears and laughter I managed to sputter out one phrase.
"But…. HE’S not meant to be on the train!"
"I don’t even have a ticket!" Said Jim, which made us laugh even more.
We managed to push the suitcases back down the aisle, and squeeze them into the luggage rack after rearranging a few bags. We then went in between the carriages and laughed for a good 15 minutes about the ridiculous situation we had ended up in.
"I’m glad this was our way to say farewell, Jim. It was getting far too depressing with all those goodbyes."
"It will certainly make a good story won’t it. Anyway, you go and sit down Naomi. I’ll get off at Leamington Spa and head back to Birmingham. Take care, now."
I went and sat down. I listened to my iPod all the way to Southampton and enjoyed the lovely views from seat 33A. Jim headed back to Birmingham, where he was greeted with a “WELCOME HOME!” banner from Angela, Rich and Mina.
I have no excuse for not keeping up more closely with the blog, but dagnabit! I’m on holiday, so I’m not stinking sorry.
The last two weeks were incredible. Indescribable really. Everything I did was basically preparation for the big wedding. On sunny, gorgeous May 12th, my friend of 15 years Sarah married her sweetheart, Reece. It was lovely. It was perfect.
Sitting with Sarah as she got her hair done was surreal. She’s such a beautiful person inside and out. I was having flashbacks to sleepovers and makeovers (with blue eyeshadow and purple lipstick- right little fashionistas we were…) and getting ready for brownies while dancing to the spice girls.
Seeing her brother, Rich, wear a top hat and attach ribbons to his car was hilarious. Seeing everyone run up and down the stairs in a mad panic to find hairspray, pressed shirts, lip gloss and shoes just added to the anticipation of the events taking place later on. Seeing Sarah, grinning ear to ear, do laps around the cherry red 1967 mustang convertible that would carry her from her childhood home to the church brought tears of laughter to my eyes, and I couldn’t help but just smile with contentment.
I got to the church. During the rehearsal, I’d sat in the second pew, right behind the immediate family. I walked in and realized that the pews were full all the way back to near the back of the church. I spoke to one of the ushers, and I found a space on pew four on the end, behind a pillar. It was fine if I leaned around the pillar, and I would get a good view of Sarah walking in. I sat down and arranged my things and began chatting away to the other people on my pew. I noticed Sarah’s brothers, Rich and Mike, whispering to each other at the front of the church. I turned to the order of service and began scanning through the hymns, when I heard someone standing next to me. There stood Mike, his hand extended toward me. He grinned and said “Come on, you’re family.” Less gracefully than I would have liked, I grabbed my things and followed Mike to the front pew where Rich was saving a seat for me. “You didn’t fly around the world to sit behind a pillar.”
The night brought a fantastic evening. We maypole danced, ate hog roast, made new friends, reunited with old ones, and danced the night away. A favourite moment was getting to dance with Sarah just me and her. It was that lull where nobody is really getting up to dance, but who’s going to leave the Bride on her big day alone on the dance floor? And I got a personal serenade from Sarah, which will always make me giggle.
The day after we spent the afternoon playing cricket, bowles, ukulele, singing, cooking, card-opening, reminiscing and sharing. It was also perfect. The weather glorious. Such a good memory.
The next day brought farewells and tears. It’s incredible what two weeks, or even a couple of days, can do to people. They managed to move into my heart, and create a little home their for themselves. When we parted, their home emptied, I felt like there was a part of me missing. I craved to be with them, and I felt the ache of unfilled space all the way down to the coast on the train, all throughout the drive to the seaside, and it hurt still as I crawled into bed that night. I wondered if that space could ever be filled with anything else.
I realized that I have to look at the situation in a different way. I will always yearn for those people, for my second family. But, I need to enjoy and cherish the little slice of life that I do get to share with them. The ache still surfaces sometimes, but when you’ve split your heart and buried the parts in different places around the world, there’s going to be a little pain either way. There are worse problems to have, than having too many loved people too far apart from each other. I’m beyond blessed, in so many different ways.
So, my days in the Derbyshire villages have gone by. Here are the days on Worthing seaside! During which, I will visit London and Paris. I will try to update, but hey, I’m on holiday here! I’m making no promises :)
Today was the first day I didn’t feel like a zombie in a time warp.
It’s fantastic being back here. As we zip around the country roads in a tiny little car, veering far too close to semi-trucks (lorries) for my taste, I am pleasantly surprised about the memories that manage to chase me down and remind me that they’re still here. It’s nice rediscovering places, people, and events that had not been forgotten, but merely shuffled to the bottom of the pile.
Sensory overload is an understatement. It’s unbelievable how different it is from America. The way people converse is different, the rhythm, word choice and inflections take a whole new level of focus to pick up and filter through. Geography is insane. England is so green. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much grass in my life. I never appreciated the beauty of the villages in the midlands before now. Each with hundreds of years of stories waiting to be told.
I’ve been so blessed by the people I’m staying with. I came over, just hoping I could love them and help them and serve them, and I keep getting overwhelmed by how much I am receiving. Just being able to share life together, whether it’s baking bread together, sharing a fish and chips, watching a good film, or sitting around a kitchen table underneath a ceiling of 100 hanging mugs, is so special. It really is all about the little, everyday things. Airports, hotels and fancy meals are fun, but sharing an hour or two over tea waiting for the rain to pass will always be a lovely way to spend an afternoon.