Monday, July 18, 2016

A Blog from Boston

I spent this morning trying to mumble along with hail Mary's and perfect my sign of the cross. 
Catholic Church with the Dujardins. 
Now underneath Boston waiting in a T station for a summer afternoon of city wandering and exploring. Because why not?

Six minutes to train arrival.
 Enough time to put some thoughts on paper I suppose. Thinking of finding my way to a Starbucks that serves clover coffee and putting up a post entitled "Blogging from Boston." I don't really know what I'll even write about, but I've got to dig deep and find something to say because that post title is too good to let it go to waste. I guess I'll sort it out as I zoom around below Boston. 

Three minutes. 
I'm really glad Oxiclean did its job and removed the mango juice stains from my lovely, flowy, whimsical, pastel-purple blouse.
That too. I've got to get that in there somewhere. 
So my process is a bit backwards today. 
Oh well. 

The sound of subways. 
I feel that sound inside of me. Reminding me how far below we actually are and forcing me to acknowledge how dangerously fast we are traveling along slick, electric rails tightly squeezed between concrete on either side. 
But like so many other things in life, I-we-ignore the danger and overcome fear for the sake of convenience. Play our odds and subconsciously calculate risks and ratios and lose ourselves in a song or a book on our way to wherever we might be going. 

Back above, I take in Boston one more time. 
I think about how funny it is that I've landed here again. That only a year or so ago I had never stepped foot in this city and somehow between here and there I've learned the T and know which way I should turn on my way to Newbury Street. 
How many risks and leaps it took to land me at Starbucks in downtown Boston on a Sunday afternoon in the summer. 
Leaving behind that free college tuition and moving to a state I coun't even locate on the map. 
Giving up secure plans for a call to ministry. 
Buying into a church plant across the country in a city I knew little of when church planting and Seattle were hardly in my vocabulary. 
Diving into nanny world via the Internet 
Deciding to leave a job that had become family, a church that had my whole heart, and a city I had fallen in love with to pursue Africa. 
Following a detour to Mexico no matter how much it didn't make sense to me or anyone else. 
How many times I lept from steep cliffs with nothing sure or solid below. No perches in sight to land on or catch my footing. 
Sometimes flailing my wings and choking on fear. Panic gripping my throat. 
But always somehow soaring. 
Allowing the deep blue of the open sky to soak in and the grace of God to carry me. 

And I think now, looking back, I'm so glad I never chose the safe things. 
Of course I know there are plenty of arguments for safe. Secure. Responsible. 
Good ones. 
I know them well. 
Have heard them all. Many times.
 Feel them at war in the pit of my stomach and the far corners of my mind. 
But in the steady beat of my heart and the blood pumping through my veins. In the most awake parts of my mind I know that safe is not for me. 
I was born with the ability to live safely and securely and every opportunity to live in certainty and comfort. 
But with deeper longings and desires for adventure. 
To take risks. 
To explore. 
To see and learn as much of the world as I possibly could. 
To go. 
To run. 
To fly. 
Despite risk. 
Despite fear. 
Despite skepticism of the outward and inward sort. 
To fight comfort and certainty with their opposites. 
To find myself and more of Christ in those places. 

I look back at my life and see the beautiful pieces that have been gained in the wake of great risk. 
The experiences and mostly the people that would not exist to me now had I not risked it all back there. Left behind safety and certainty and comfort. 

And then I'm sure that I'll keep leaping. 

That there is simply no other way for me to move forward. 
Too many lovely moments and beautiful relationships and things to be learned of myself and of Christ that will be lost if I cling to my perch. 

Perhaps the fear and panic will find me again as they have many times before. Perhaps I may even experience a few more crash landings along the way. 

So be it. 
I'd rather leap ad soar and crash every now and again than stay still and safe on my perch and risk never landing on Newbury Street or posting a blog from Boston. 

I finish my afternoon of city exploration with a Georgetown Cupcake. Because they are famous supposedly. 
Usually in cases like these, I am a skeptic. 
But I must confess, it was literally the best cupcake I have eaten in my life to date. And unashamedly, I have eaten quite a few cupcakes. 
This lemon blueberry dream was so good that I did not for one second regret my decision to indulge. And that's saying a lot for me. I often look back on food choices with regret because I am a health nut nazi. 
But sometimes eating a cupcake should be an experience and calories just shouldn't count. The whole moment should beg for an Instagram photo session. 
And that is exactly how it was. 
There were fresh flowers and tiers of cupcakes and hot coffee to go with. Just after I bought a new pair of travel pants on sale and right before I jumped back on the T outbound from the city's heart. 

This time I try to tune out the internal pounding of the train against the rails. 
I think about how full my heart is after a day of retail therapy and cupcakes and coffee in the city. 
How I love wandering cities. Camouflaging myself if you will. 
If I dress myself and carry myself the right way, I can make people believe that I'm a local. That this is my city and I often walk this way to my favorite cafe and write the afternoon away. That if they asked me for directions I would send them quickly on their way with a friendly, confident smile and a few personal suggestions too. 
If I choose. 
I can be the traveler. The explorer. The adventurer. 
The mysterious girl from who knows where on her way to anywhere. 
Am I coming or leaving?
Somewhere in between?
What am I doing here?
Why this place?
What's my story?
I like that in new cities I can be anyone and that my story is left to the imagination. 
It's a magical thing that will never grow old to me. 
That will keep me exploring and adventuring for as long as I am able. 
And probably long after that. 

This train is now approaching Ashmont. 
Doors will open on the left. 

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