Sunday, January 14, 2007

The hammock feels good today. My body suspended in air and gently rocking in the breeze tranquil-izing all of the rolling emotions within me today. If only, every so often, my eyes didn’t beg to be shut. This entry might take awhile. To give you a more complete picture…I have hooked the laptop to the extension cord running out the door to the back porch so that I can be lying peacefully and writing here in the hammock to you. My right leg is draped over the hammock reaching to the plastic chair so that the gentle rocking can continue.

I was planning on writing you today about how my 23rd birthday passed here in Honduras, but somewhere between that decision and now, I have decided to write about something else. **I must note that it was at this point in writing that I saw a giant uuumm iguana, perhaps, crawling on the outer wall of our house, yelled for anyone to come witness this animal spotting with me, tripped over the cord of the computer, cutting the power and losing the entire entry…

but here we continue. Today was big for a couple of reasons and the reasons kind of intermingle one with another (causing some up and down emotions, let me tell you). I had been trying to get a hold of my mom these past couple of days, starting on Friday so that we could reminisce about that day 23 years ago when we first laid eyes on one other. But no one was home. I tried her work. I tried that night. Nothing. I tried the next day, and sent an email…as each day produced no communication with my mother, I started to worry. Wouldn’t she expect that I would call on my birthday since (I was fairly certain) she wouldn’t be able to get through to me…What if something happened at home—would she know how to contact me, or would someone else? Those were the thoughts crossing my mind with some fear last night, and mixed with an intense Grey’s Anatomy episode viewing, they also came up in my dreams. I woke up every couple of hours from dreams filled with death, sadness, and grief. I felt increasingly farther away and out of contact. When I woke up around 7, I started to tell myself—Sarah, you’re really not all that farther away than California—pretend you live in California (it didn’t work). Finally I decided to try again to call my house. When my mom picked up I could barely speak I was so overwhelmed with relief. I was laughing and crying all at the same time—crying from joy and the release of all my irrational fears that had built up over three days (she was so confused!). Laughing because my mom and grandparents had tried to call on my birthday (with no success) only to listen, confused, to a Spanish speaking recording over and over and over…

You see, each year as far back as I can remember, both my mom and my grandparents call singing—they don’t even say hello, but just break out into song. I remember one year in college my mom left the singing message on my answering machine, and with a cold, the singing was so bad (sorry mom ;)) that we kept the message on there all year long so that we could listen to it when we needed some extra cheer. Anyway, on Friday I was thinking that that was the only thing that could have really made my birthday better (you know, besides the obvious…foot massage, Jacuzzi, etc.) would be those phone calls. I was thinking that when I heard the phone ring inside. It was for me! I went inside not knowing what to expect—probably a call about a homework assignment—but when I said hello, the singing began…in Spanish! My Honduran host family from when I studied in Tegucigalpa during college had called to sing! They passed the phone from family member to family member—each one giving me messages of love. Immediately, tears started pouring down my face. It was so special.

So lots of emotions. And intermingled with this is what I want to end with—my surprise when I realized that it has already happened: Already, life here in Honduras has become the real, the normal, the stable. This is where I am, what I am doing, what I have some feeling of control over. That wasn’t the case when I first got here. Life in the States, my relationships there—that was what felt concrete and stable to me. But so quickly that has all become fuzzy, muddled, and unsteady, out of my hands. I remember thinking to myself, and even saying out loud during vacation, that I needed to be writing things down—so that I could remember what I was feeling, experiencing, reflecting on…I wish I would have listened to myself more because now those thoughts are somewhere else, perhaps also suspended in air, somewhere between Atlanta and San Pedrizzle. I’m struggling making sense of thoughts I had outside of Honduras because they know longer fit into the context of what is currently real to me. I think that is what I am trying to say.

Anyway, parent-teacher conferences down. Painless. Iguana gone. Dance aerobics on the back porch in ten.


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