Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jetting out of Boston

We lived at home in Boston for just three weeks, and now we are already on a plane and headed for California. Three weeks wasn’t really long enough. We had dinners with our favorite neighbors and another friend or two, we had the fence painted around our roof deck, I was briefly re-integrated with my duties as an active member of a local church congregation, and we saw a lot of Nika.

We really HAD to see a lot of Nika because she was living in our house when we arrived and had no easy means of escape for the first week. We all slept on airbeds on our roof deck until rains swept in and Nika swept out, to share an apartment with a good friend nearby. Pleasantly, the momentum stayed with us and Nika continued to live out of the same closets she first occupied seven months ago when Alla and I left for Belarus.

It’s been a real pleasure to have her around. Just as I enjoy the perspectives of the twenty-something college students I know at the Minsk State Linguistic University, I really enjoy sharing my life with a quasi daughter. She asks questions I wouldn’t have thought to ask, offers opinions I wouldn’t have expected, and reveals a humanity I wouldn’t otherwise know. She’s a good cook, too. We’ve shared numerous meals, some better planned than others, all warm and friendly.

So, why did we rush off to California? We ask ourselves the same question. It seemed like a good idea at the time we planned it, not realizing we’d have this nearly-perfect ready-made slice of family life in Boston. We were rushing toward family, not understanding that we’d have such a sweet opportunity right where we were. I have long advocated the importance of framing any life changes on a move toward something positive rather than a simple escape from something negative, and this illustrates the point. It’s a good thing we’re headed towards people we are eager to see, because we find ourselves heading away from people we are eager to see at the same time.

May life ever be so. May our homes be centers for affections that radiate outward to the larger world.

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