The house is filled with quiet music, the window’s open, and I can hear echoes of the call to prayer in the distance. Toys and sand and other evidences of last night’s party are all over the floor, and all is well.
Jeff and Kaiya are out with some neighbourhood kids, riding the purple bike that arrived from Canada this week, Mamma Bear got 10 hours of sleep last night, and the peace I’ve been looking for is finally here.
It helps that it’s Eid, and we get a full week of holiday now, together. We can finally get off the speeding treadmill we’ve all been on since the end of August and just be together and relax. A lot of plans are up this week, so you can be sure that a lot of blog posts will be following. But for now, I’m just so happy for the calm that is here. I’m not frenetically picking up toys or making plans. I’m good with leaving all the crap all over the floor and just enjoying the peace of the morning. This is honestly the longest time I’ve sat still and in my pajamas in all the time we’ve been here.
Last night was SO GREAT. We had our first party, inviting many families from Jeff’s work. I spent a couple hours sweeping up the sand pit that is our back yard, and setting up our new patio furniture. And then the people came. We don’t have a single stinking picture from the night, but that’s okay. Kaiya played all night with the kids, and we got to enjoy adult company. Real, live conversations! I think all three of us needed this. A house full of people. This morning, it feels a little more like home. Even One-Eyed Pirate is content, lounging on one of the chair cushions.
We are slowly making the shift from survival mode into day-to-day living. Survival mode was not very fun. The daily exhaustion I felt was numbing. I think it’s safe to say that I really carry my emotions physically. I know the shift is happening because for the past two weeks, I have felt rested. Five-thirty in the morning no longer feels like it’s of the devil.
Watching Kaiya start to settle into new friendships probably warms my heart the most. Did you see what I wrote above? Jeff and Kaiya are out with some neighbourhood kids. That’s right. There is a little gang of under five year olds that are riding their bikes and playing together. These little things are the most important to me. Yes, we may be living in a somewhat exotic locale, and our pictures might look amazingly foreign to you, but ultimately, we Epps haven’t changed. Same hopes, same dreams, same fears. Your presence in our lives, your emails, phonecalls, Facebook notes, and comments on the blog are very important to us. We are still struggling sometimes to articulate LIFE here… the joys and the struggles. Some of that is because we have just been so focused on managing the day to day. But as we gain more and more breathing space, I hope to convey more of that to you, in as honest a way as I can.
For now, I guess I just wanted to say a heartfelt “hello.” I’m here right now. Fully here, fully present. And I’m hoping to inhabit this space a little more from now on. My soul has been hungry for it. It’s good to be back.