The moon is a perfect half-moon tonight and we, all of us that are home, are sleeping under it. Eight of us on the second story balcony, were we can catch every gust of breeze. The house is unbearably hot, even if we had power the fans would only move around the hot air and perhaps dry the sweat that we sleep in. Tile on concrete is not very forgiving to sleep on, but to be cool and not sleeping in my own sweat makes it tolerable!
It amazes me how quite it is out here! Even at 10:30 in most big cities there is a lot of noise. Here we are 10 minutes from the airport and I can sleep to the hum of the distant generator of the UN apartment building across the road and now and then sound of barking dogs in the distance. There is also the comforting sound of crickets and some far off compass music playing. There is no traffic, no airplanes landing and taking off, to be heard. Around 3 am I know that the roosters will start to crow and since we are on the eastern side of the house the sun will undoubtedly wake us. The sun’s rays slowly kissing our skin as she slowly peaks her way through the huge mango tree and reaches through the fronds of the coconut tree that stands tall next to my resting place on the balcony.
The western side of the house has a deck as well, but even at this late hour with the sun long since set, the tiles are still warm. So here we lay, three men, three women, and two children segregated by the architecture of the house, lying on a mix of mats, rugs and towels with cotton sheets to ward off the mosquitoes, sleeping in the cool breeze of the night. I know I should be asleep, as soon as I saw the moon in the sky words just began to pour forth from my mind longing to be put down, and perhaps shared. It is moments like this, which make the heat of the day bearable and bring a sense of peace to my soul. I know that here in Haiti, perhaps very near to where I rest my head, there are people living in much worse conditions, maybe homeless or unable for safety reasons to enjoy this night-time breeze. I am hopeful that there are answers to the problems of others.
Life is by far not always easy here for me, or others. Do not take my words of the moon and breeze and let them lull you into a sense of security, a job done, or peace. Instead let my words offer hope, not just for my wellbeing, but hope for those who feel hopeless. Done in the right way HOPE can become reality. It is moments like this, after an evening of missing my children to the point of tears; that I find myself comforted by my choices. Not easy choices by far! A sense of belonging and of direction comes into my heart and soul. I know that my children are sleeping under the very same perfect half-moon, though in chilly NH, where jackets have already come out of storage and granted they are inside, out of a chilly breeze and perhaps a frost. They are though sleeping under it, and safe, secure and loved from near and far.
Morning after note:
I slept outside until 3 AM. I was woken by the roosters crowing and the mosquitoes biting, as my OFF had worn off. The power had been turn on and the house cooled enough so I took my self to my bed, finishing my slumber, with the fan blowing a different type of comforting breeze.
This morning it is back to the frustrations of no car, work issues and simply trying to figure things out. Already I am praying that tonight there will be no rain so I can again sleep outside. I am also hopeful that I will make it to the store to buy more OFF. As I sit here typing this after note I am sweating with more water pressure than a shower head and longing for night to come! But there is so much to be done, so many hurdles to overcome, for myself and for others who are in worse conditions. It is over whelming to consider it all at once, as I am often asked to do while in conversations. Surly there must be steps, an orderly way to wade out of the depth of these problems. I simply must focus on what I can do, what I think is right. A stroke at a time, swimming towards an end goal that isn’t fully realized yet, but instead is a watery Impressionists painting of a beam from a very distant lighthouse. Keep swimming, keep moving… for the moment you stop drowning is imminent. But also I have to be reminded that at times it is necessary just a float, to not think, relax and take it all in. The problems are not going away on their own, nor can I solve them all myself.