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In the whirlwind – San José

Ok. So the whirlwind’s finally hit.

I keep telling Chris, “You know, we’re leaving in two weeks…”

Maybe this confuses you. You might be thinking, “Hey, wait a minute. I thought you guys had already left.” (Or like our friend Dave likes to say, “How can we miss you if you won’t go away?”)

I know.

But our three week trip to the Pacific Northwest was preliminary to our final cut-this-damn-boat-from-its-moorings departure. And we’re back in the Bay Area with a million things to tie up and get in order before we leave.

We’ve moved Ali up to Eugene for her sophomore year at the University of Oregon. Caitlin is slowly – I mean, slowly – moving into her own apartment in downtown San José. Our car got hit. We’re getting some immunizations tomorrow. Visas on Wednesday. We’re packing and storing stuff. We’re renting our house to our son Nate and two friends (“Really?” you innocently ask.) We thought we had finally gotten rid of our two damn cats (the girls are taking them). But now Nate’s bringing two new ones back.

I’m reading The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau. He explains how different a vacation is from a pilgrimage. In a vacation, you know where you’re going, more or less where you’re going to stay, and when -- and to what -- you’re going to return. If you’re lucky, you have a few side-adventures along the way.

In a pilgrimage, all hell breaks loose.

And just before you’re about to leave – right on the threshold of your adventure – the dragon suddenly rises up. Every possible obstacle appears. All the reasons why it would make more sense – just for now, mind you – to hover a little nearer home. Your mettle is tested. Or rather, your intention is.

But I’ve managed to finagle a year off work. So I’ll be damned if I’m stopping now.

And so I keep telling Chris, “Hey, do you even get it? We’re leaving in two weeks.” And “Yes, we ARE going to Cape Dorset”!

He nods serenely from his writing desk. (It’s either that, or he has a full-blown panic attack). But maybe (I’m crossing my fingers now), just maybe, it’s finally beginning to sink in.

Reader Comments (2)

Dear Debi,

The whirlwind will be followed by the sweet calm that attends the first step of a pilgrimage. All the preparation, all the planning, all the doubt...all behind. Just the step over the threshold. Just what lies ahead now. Just your new life.


September 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I appreciate your encouragement, David. I just picked up The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, that Chris left on the table last night. The back cover has this quote:

"The moment of takeoff was We left the ground--I with Christian mantras and a great sense of destiny, of being at last on my way after years of waiting and wondering..."

That lifts my spirit.

Can't wait to see you in Kenya!


September 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris and Debi Lorenc

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