8:29 AM

      Write what you know. This excellent advice guides my fingertips this misty Irish night. I could regale you with stories of amusing characters who whisk through my tempestuous life like gale force winds or soft calming breezes. I could describe with utmost clarity the scenes that surround me like detailed backdrops on the stage that is Northern Ireland. But now to come to the heart of the matter at hand, the heart of my impressions at this time. As I take a moment to reflect, I seem to hear a distant, yet, oh so distinct whisper coming out of the consuming hurricane, so I pause and take in what I see and what I know to be true.

     In his famous speech in Shakespeare's "Hamlet", the comical, yet infinitely wise character, Polonious, gives these outstanding words, "But this above all, to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou cans't, not then, be false to any man." So I will be true to you, the pleasant few who read these blogs. At this point in my life, I find myself at a loss about many things. I do detest the adage "take each day as it comes" and yet this is exactly what I find myself doing. After taking four years to get my degree in music and making a decent life for myself in California, I wake to find through a series of fortunate :) events, that I have moved half way across the world and am working for a church! Only a few years ago I would have laughed in your face if you had suggested the idea of my working anywhere near the house of God and yet here I am. And here I am happy. Here, again, have I found something resembling contentment. A truly shocking testimonial.

    Shortly after I arrived, Derek prayed for each of us interns in turn (read that out loud for a laugh). When he came to me, he stopped short. Now, first of all, I must tell you that it is commonly known in these parts that, when Derek prays for you, your life is often never the same. As a foreigner I had no idea what I was in for. To resume, Derek began praying for me and then looked up suddenly and said, "now I know this sounds daft, seeing as you've been here, what? 36 hours? But I believe you've been given a home here.Its almost as if you've been a square peg shoving yourself into round holes all your life and although they've been alright, doable, now you've finally found the place that works, that fits."

     Home. Something I'd searched for ever so long and found so inexpressibly elusive. Such a small, insignificant word and yet one so wrought with meaning for all. What he said was ever so true though. Day after day I look about me with the wonder of an infant at the beauty that captures my every glance. I still cannot quite grasp that I'm allowed to live here, that I'm not in some exotic dream that I will soon waken from, to find a dreary pile of homework awaiting me in a cramped, noisy dorm room or in the extraordinarily, torrid, desert land that was home for so many years. And yet, this place is the most natural for me in the world. I still can't believe my luck!

     All my life I have felt the wanderer. I cannot remember a time when I didn't dream about a place, dare I say, just like this. For as long as I can remember I have looked towards distant shores with unquenchable longing and curiosity. It is a bit precipitous to live all your life feeling on the brink of something. Why, the slightest touch of wind might send you hurling to the chasm beneath. And yet, there is excitement and wonder in this, as well. Many of my friends have found home and happiness in the eyes and arms of another or have set up youthful housekeeping. I have found myself unable to quite fit in one place with one set of people with any real feeling of contentment up till now. Something deep, ever so deep, always seems to be looking out on that shore, wondering about distant places I've never seen before. But now I grow philosophical, and so perhaps, grow tiresome as well. There is no formal conclusion for this ponderous soliloquy except to admit that the cliff on which I dwell seems to be crumbling beneath my feet. Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying "those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril." And so, perhaps I have delved too deep. :)
- Rachel

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