After Peanut’s intake evaluation in the morning, “we” decided to head down to the tourist district of Boulder. It’s really cute. We checked out the walking streets and several of the shops in the glorious sun.
While checking out a shop called ‘Peppercorn’, I started to feel fear. Heart palpitations and sweaty palms kind-of-fear.
You see, this darling store was filled with beautiful, pretty, shiny things. And I love pretty, shiny things. I really do.
While Dreamboat is perfectly happy traveling with a small backpack filled with of all his worldly possessions, and owning nothing else (well, except for a mansion-sized storage unit FULL of books), I’m happiest at the Four Seasons. I don’t pretend anymore that any of my dreams involve camping. They don’t.
I truly love fresh, running water. Especially when it’s the exact temperature I want it to be. A cup of tea sipped from fine china is my idea of recharging. A walk through a fancy furniture store, with shiny, modern chairs, stunning arrangements, and spectacular art, feeds my soul. Having friends over for dinner with three sets of crystal glasses, as much silverware as I can fit on the table, and four differently-shaped but coordinating plates laid out on a linen cloth, with fresh flowers arranged in silver pots, makes my inner-little-girl giggle with happiness. And the outer, forty-something me, giggle too.
And, I’m getting rid of all the pretty, shiny things I’ve collected over the years.
And, I’m willingly headed to Guinea. That’s in West Africa.
I’ve been to West Africa before. It’s dusty. It’s dirty. It’s impoverished. Much of it, to western sensibilities, is very sad.
And I know so many people desperately need all the help and services Mercy Ships has to offer. And that’s part of why Dreamboat and I are taking our family there. We want to teach our kids the truly important things in life. (At least I can admit what my priorities should be.)
And so, while I know I will long for beautiful place settings, and air conditioning set to the exact degree I wish, I will find treasures MORE BEAUTIFUL than I’ve witnessed before.
I’m not just saying that. I really believe it.
I will see my children begin to comprehend that other children are truly happy playing with only grass and twigs. I will see how education and health are key to transforming an individual and a nation’s future. I will witness how many people walk for miles to get water, not remotely fresh or cool.
And, I will experience the beauty of many sunrises offering new hope to a country ravaged by poverty.
And joining villagers as they drink pure water from a new well, drilled in their own ‘town square’, will taste better than any glass of champagne I’ve sipped from my wedding crystal.
And, the beauty of the patients’ faces, after their lives are transformed by a free surgery that removes the stigma that had made them outcasts their whole lives, will be more beautiful than any shiny baubles I could find here in Colorado. Or anywhere.
And, I may take along some ripped-out magazine pages, of pretty, shiny things. Just to glance at occasionally…