Searching for the Moon

Zambia is a country of great beauty, but that beauty can get covered up, drowned out, glossed over, and forgotten.  I get caught up in the hard days.  I get caught up in the eyes of my students who haven’t eaten.  I get caught up in the bruises that they try to hide.  I get caught up in the lies that they try to tell themselves are true.

I get caught up in the sad days.  I get caught up in fighting for a woman’s right to not be pushed around by a man she refuses as her husband.  I get caught up in half-stories that keep me up at night.  I get caught up in consoling students who have lost their loved ones too early.

I get caught up in the unknown.  I get caught up in deliberating about when I should listen and when I should speak.  I get caught up in believing that stepping in was the right decision, when culturally I may have been wrong.  I get caught up in wondering which of my students won’t be able to afford to come to school tomorrow.  I get caught up hoping that tomorrow is better.

I get caught up all the time.  Sometimes, it is hard for me not to get caught up in the hard days, the sadness, and the unknown.  Sometimes it feels like I am searching for ways to get caught up in the bad, but then something happens and I get caught up for a whole new reason.

I get caught up in a sunset.  I get caught up in the calming beauty that a Zambian sunset brings, especially right now during the rainy season.  I get caught up in the colors that dance across the sky the way water color paint does when your brush first touches a wet surface.  I get caught up in the reminder that rain does not just bring mud, but also flourishing vegetation, crops, and vibrant rainbows.  I get caught up in the beauty that surrounds me.

I get caught up when I’m teaching.  I get caught up in that moment when the lightbulb goes off in the minds of my students.  I get caught up in them finally feeling comfortable enough to ask me for help.  I get caught up in my students telling me that they like when I answer their questions.  I get caught up in my students telling me that they enjoy math for the first time in their school career.

I get caught up in the laughter.  I get caught up in the joy on people’s face when I greet them in Nyanja, or Tumbuka (which is much rarer).  I get caught up in the smiles on my students’ faces when I remember their names.  I get caught up in the hugs from my host family when I haven’t seen them in 24 hours.  I get caught up in the reunion of friends that I do not see as often as I would like.  I get caught up in the love of my family who encourages me and keeps me going on the other side of the world.

Some days it is hard to get caught up in the good things.  Some days I feel more defeated than uplifted.  Some days, I need to choose to get caught up in the sunsets, and the smiles, and the laughter.  Some days I need to just have a little more faith in the path that God has set out before me.  I have happiness here, some days, I just need to search a little harder to find it.

 

“However long the moon disappears, some day it must shine again.”

Little Bee, a novel by Chris Cleave

 

***I did not take the picture of the moon….I found it on google….

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Eric Anthony says:

    You should’ve just said you took the picture of the moon ;p lol

    Like

  2. Colleen Ulrich says:

    Olivia….that was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

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