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Monday, November 4, 2013

First Morning Back in Stockholm

Now it is rain that I hear outside of my window instead of the incessant honking of horns.
Now it is chill I feel rather than bracing for another hot and humid day.
Now the darkness of night comes quickly, by 4.00 p.m. yesterday, instead of the heat of sun that burns about 12 hours each day, every day.
I am no longer concerned about the water that surrounds me for it is guaranteed to be clean, safe and fresh.
I am drinking coffee that I brewed myself instead of tea that had been prepared for me each morning.
I can speak the languages that surround me once again.
I am assured that things will be on time and go mostly as planned.
I am unconcerned with germs, bacteria, and threats to my health.
I ate a hamburger last night along with a huge, green salad but I also had to clean up the dishes afterwards.
I am home alone, with only Doug and Tanner as my companions.
I am deeply thankful for friendships forged on our trip, both with those living here in Sweden and those who will remain in India.

I am happy for all of the above and yet there is some melancholy as well.
For I will miss the shared journey with the 19 others who traveled this long and crazy road to India with me.
I will miss the friendly and gracious staff at our hotel, Park Inn Panvel, who did their level best (a wonderful Indian expression) to serve us with their incredible and amazing Indian hospitality.
I will miss the flavors that I experienced in the delicious Indian cuisine and trying new things to eat almost every day.
I will miss the joy of a people who live difficult lives, under difficult circumstances yet still find a way to allow a beautiful smile to creep across their face.
I will miss encountering something new every day and seeking to graft it into the narrative that is my life.
I am at peace and also deeply troubled.  I am more aware now than ever before of the privileged and wealthy life with which I have been granted.  My life is filled with choices that at times are inane.  I worry about things that are not worrisome. I quibble over things that have no eternal value.
How can our globe be so diverse in ways that are so unfair?  How can I live in such a way that I am able, even at a great distance, to honor those living in such difficult circumstances?
I want to seek to simplify my way of life, seeking to consume less while I cultivate a deeper contentment with simple and beautiful things.  I want to worry less about things that matter so little and I want to be more concerned with things that really do count.  I want to create less garbage.  I want to value my resources.  I want to be a better steward of all that God has entrusted to me.  I am not yet sure how to do this.  I am enjoying the aftermath of an incredible experience.  Life changing, I'm sure, but what I'm not sure about is how.
I have been to India and I'm not entirely clear what that means for me.