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Returning home

July 22, 2010

I’m sure it’s a feeling a lot of people have had before, that feeling that things aren’t as they should be.

Couple that with a sense of danger, a sense of high alert…and the fatigue of stress on the mind becomes like a constant rain or a sweltering, unrelenting heat.

So was the stage set for an odd dream I had early this morning.

All I could see was the daily struggle…the woman and child looking for something to eat in the refugee camp of an unknown land. The sun is blazing. Many are sick and look as if their spirits dried up with the lakes and waters that vanished weeks ago. The pieced-together tent homes provide little shelter from the sun. Wide open sky. No relief in sight. The sun sets to a night of still, standing heat– no breeze. The same woman and child featured in the search for food settle down on a mat in the tent to try to sleep. With the night comes a sudden wind and it blows fiercely. The walls of the tent whip about and the poles waver. The stakes stand firm and both woman and child fall asleep, the child close to her mother’s side. Several hours later, the woman wakes from her sleep. She opens her eyes, her face damp, and feels the cool rain falling gently from the sky. She feels a second presence by her side…she turns her face and gasps to wake her sleeping husband, who smiles at her and says “Shh. Rest now.” The pots and jars around the camp fill with water. The warriors of their village have returned, safe and whole, and in the morning they would be returning home. The woman holds her child close and drinks in the relief of this night. Her husband is safe, the village will survive, and the long drought has ended. All is well tonight. The people sleep in peace.

Waiting for that return home.

Waiting for peace and for the danger to be over.

That is the feeling of the heart on alert.

But peace comes like the gentle rain, and the arms come to pick up everything, and pick up your tired soul, and carry you. Peace feels like returning home.

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