Thursday, March 13, 2008

Unexpected Comforts and the Power of a Lawnmower

From Lima:

One of the surprises I have encountered here is exactly which things bring me comfort in the sense of familiar things. I missed my garlic press, and I was too cheap to replace it for a year in Costa Rica. Love my bedspread from home. The familiarity of the quilts I have made through the house. But the most powerful instant comfort I have experienced here has been the hum of a lawnmower.

We were getting settled in, and as you have probably read here before, we live over a private park, when I noticed something, and without even realizing what was happening, my soul did a little, “ahhhh……………” I stopped, because it was a curious feeling of familiarity. After a second of attentive quiet, I realized that alongside of the sound of jackhammers and construction (they are building high rise apartments on either side of our building), there was the hum of a lawnmower. Summer in Ohio. Sending the kids out back to play. Watching them leave through the back fence to the cul de sac with their friends. Kids screaming as they run through the neighborhood with water guns. Much farther back, I see my dad in the front yard, yelling at us to gather up the sticks in front of him as he mows. We roll around in the grass and throw big handfuls up in the air. It feels like deep-pile carpet and looks freshly vacuumed from the rows he makes with the mower.

What a silly thing to carry so much power for me—so many good memories that help me feel at home here. I am thankful for each moment like this, and the unexpected comforts of Lima.

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