I’ve been going back and forth from feeling calm, surreal, that this whole Peace Corps thing might happen sometime in the future, and completely terrified. We could count down to our departure in hours now instead of days. We’ve spent our last two weeks in the states with my family in southern Illinois. The closer we get to leaving, the more I find myself worrying about what to pack for two years, how homesick I may become, and how I don’t yet know the language. I’m fearful of that barrier to connection. The sadness of goodbyes threatens to overwhelm me. I start to wonder if we really can do this.
One day last week we put up corn for my grandmother. If you’ve never had good Midwestern sweet corn, you have not really lived. It’s best in season, but to have good corn in the winter you get messy, cut it off the cob, and freeze it. It’s the closest you can get to the real thing, and so much better than canned corn from the store. We took my grandma 11 quarts of goodness.
We have but one night left with family before we leave for 27 months. When I think in terms of how many hours I have left for connection, the sadness starts to creep in. So for now, I’m trying to soak up as much love as possible. Like storing corn for the winter, we’re preparing our hearts to not have access to our family. But the memories, stories, and love can surpass time and distance. We’re so thankful for this precious time we’ve had with them.
Each kernel we store away in our hearts will help sustain us on our lonely nights and homesick days.
Dinners and my Evangelist Blessing.
Food and lazing in the water of a pond/pool/river.
Banjo, fiddle, and guitar.
Starry nights and shootings stars.
Star Wars and ladies tournament.
Talks and tears.
It may have taken us 3616.6 miles to get here, but now that we’re here, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Time to put up a little more corn.
What memories have you stored away that give you comfort?