I write this from a rather bland terminal at the Port Columbus International Airport, heart racing, eyes heavy (I got so little sleep last night). Let me describe what’s around me:
To my left is my sweet grandmother, accompanying me to London. She’s playing a word game where she unscrambles letters to make new words. So far she’s turned “Tacue” into “Acute” and “Kroob” into “Brook”. To my left is The Great American Bagel Bakery, whose wood paneling throws a touch of warmth into this long, gray room. Across from me is a young Asian man who has shoulder length blonde hair, so that’s interesting. A few seats down from him is an athletic young woman trying to read a book, but can’t, because an adorable Indian man is asking her questions about every aspect of her entire life. To my right is a wall of windows, our boarding gate beyond it. A few businessmen look dapper on their bluetooth headsets and sweater-vests. I’m so out of my league here, people.
I’m feeling excited, anxious, hurried and lagging. It’s all pretty confusing. But it’s good, and I know Jesus lies ahead and beside and behind and all over, and I’m thankful for that. I really can’t believe it. I’m leaving the continent! I’ll arrive in London around 6:00am Ohio time (11:00 am local time) and my adventure begins immediately. I’m nervous about being too tired to enjoy anything, but that’s not the worst that could happen, so it’s okay.
Here we go!
13 days – that’s the time I have left here in the states before I embark on my euro-journey. 13 days to make sure I have everything together, 13 days to say my “see-you-laters” and cry my eyes out, 13 days to live with my sweet Texans, 13 days to go to Fairfield whenever I want, 13 days to eat Orange Leaf (fro-yo…please…Agnes…?).
And then, in 13 days, I will board a plane to London with my hilarious maternal grandmother to spend some time on those drizzly streets before hopping on another plane to Athens, and then a boat to Paros. I’ve been on my school’s website for the past hour and my soul is literally wrenching out of my body at the beauty of this place. Take a look:
Seriously!? Can you believe this?! My brain/heart is exploding! I get to paint and write and pray and rejoice here, people!
But my heart is heavy to leave sweet little Oxford, my home and my life. It’s such an interesting thing, going on a trip. I think I would go on more if going someplace didn’t mean leaving another. If only the latter could come with me. But I suppose what I bring back is more precious (and more willed by God) than my remaining here in O-H… (anyone?)
As I look and pray forward in the next days and hours and moments, my spirit and my body are tired from the push and pull of worry and excitement. My eyes and heart are heavy, and yet I’m eagerly making lists and eyeballing my wardrobe, deciding which shoes are absolutely necessary. I’m feeling conflicted and it’s exhausting, but I’m finding peace in the constant and unchanging gospel of Jesus. Without it, I fear I might go mad – but it’s here, and it’s there, and in me and in Paros and I believe it fully and rejoice fully and expect fully.
So here we go. 13 more days!