I am in America. My feet touch grass on a daily basis. There is freezing cold wind coming from a pipe turning my room into a refrigerator. My transportation has four wheels, not two. I flush the toilet by pressing a lever. This is weird. Yet normal. I spent twenty-two years living in America before Haiti. Twenty-two. That is a lot of years to undo in one year abroad right? Still the simplest things are strange. We have carpet in nearly every room, which I have to vacuum because my dog sheds. There is a heavy blanket on my bed which I must don not to freeze overnight. My fan is above me, not beside me. These are all things I know are common, and were common to me, yet no longer. Doing daily life in America is vastly different. Not a bad different, just different. I am learning to appreciate the good in America just as I have learned, and am learning, the good in Haiti.
People ask me all the time what it is like to be back in America. I don’t know how to respond besides saying, well its America. It is the same America I left. The only thing that has changed is my perspective and I am working through it. I do miss jubilee. I miss my kids, the school, the teachers, even Rudolph’s annoying comments. But I love being able to see my family and friends, communicate with everybody in English and let’s face it- America has good food and TV. My nephew is one years old; I missed his whole first year of being alive. One of my best friends is married. My papa (grandfather) isn’t doing well health wise. Everyone grew a year older. Life continued without me here. Now I don’t have such a complex to think life would stop without me but still to see the changes causes me to say ‘I can’t believe I missed this.’ I can’t believe my nephew is walking and trying so hard to talk when last I saw him he could barely hold his own head up. I can’t believe one of my best friends is living with a boy, yes it is her husband but still it is weird! I guess in my mind I freeze framed everyone as I boarded the plane, holding it in the exact position it was before I left.
Apparently nobody got the freeze frame memo.
So life continues. People change; Grow, stretch, move, learn. I love these people and I wouldn’t want any differently for them. I do not want their lives on freeze frame. I want them to constantly be searching for the balm that soothes their groaning, aching soul. Right now, Haiti is my balm. So everyone I love, please continue spinning uncontrollably on this planet painting a beautiful mess. Where our lines intertwine is heavenly but I am enjoying seeing the beauty you are creating from afar.