It’s early morning and I’ve already run hard. The pavement was warm, the traffic quiet, and now the espresso machine buzzes on in the background. I took a hot shower, poured some sweet cereal, and flicked on the soft glow of a quick light. As my computer flickers on I scroll my phone for a daily dose of inspiration. From the comfort of my living room I am hit by the words of a woman whom I’ve never even met, one who lives half a world away:
When I get overwhelmed, like I am now, I crave the home I came from. I wonder… will this happen to them? When they are all grown up and in a moment when they just can’t see straight, will their minds bring them to Africa for comfort? Will they close their eyes and be flooded with memories of ripe mangos, hot burning trash, equatorial sun on brown skin and bare feet on cool tile? I kind of hope so. – KristyJCarlson
It’s like a sucker punch to the gut. Wait. I want that. Life here is a bit too easy, too carefree, too sterile. It’s just so sickeningly comfortable. I miss having to try. I miss bare feet in red dirt, cattle-filled streets, a bigger-than-you-can-believe sky. I miss the sweet stench of stale urine. I miss the dark nights and the rooster crow mornings. I do, I miss all of that.
The irony is, I barely even know that life. It was mine for merely more than a summer, just enough to get under my skin and leave me pining for more. It was equal parts desperation and inspiration all of the time. It was all hands on deck, always something to be done. It was you and me and limitless potential. Nothing will ever be as real as the life I loved in Africa.
Just as things have started to get comfortable here, just as we finally have two (meager) incomes, a biggish house with empty rooms that I’m itching to fill with lots of littles, just as we’ve finally begun to put down some roots in a place that we love, I’m itching to go again. It’s all too easy, too comfortable. But what now? I don’t want to walk away from this life, but I need to make room for another, of that much I’m sure. I need, now, to figure out how to straddle these continents so that someday my littles grow up with sweet memories of steep slopes and vast savannas, African red dirt and Colorado blue skies. I want both. I want them (the them that don’t even exist but in my heart and mind), I want them to have both.