There is a small insect flying around my room, and it’s about to drive me insane. It hasn’t done anything to me. It’s not biting me or trying to get in my ears or entangling itself in my hair. But it is distracting and aggravating and it needs to find a new home.
(I know I could just kill it, but dead bugs gross me out more than live ones annoy me, so…here we are with me starting off my blog post with a gripe about bugs.)
In all reality, I don’t know what I’m writing about. I have started this blog post no less than half a dozen times just in the last twenty minutes, but I’m getting nowhere.
Believe it or not, I drafted this post on black paper in white text in a font that I never use. It’s an odd method for trying to overcome this block, but hopefully it worked and you’re actually reading a blog post right now. If it does work, then all the oddity is worth it.
Some people probably would have the sense to just stop trying to force something to be written that clearly does not want to be written, but I have very little common sense and so here I am, plugging way at trying to unpack my summer.
I’ve been back in Texas for…almost two weeks now? Yeah.
It feels much longer than that, but not in the “OH MY WORD, LIFE IS AWFUL AND SLOW AND ENOUGH ALREADY” kind of way. More in the sense that this feels natural, it feels normal, it feels established.
Not like it should feel to have lived in a room for less than two weeks after spending fifteen weeks in a different time zone.
Already Mackinac feels pretty remote, which just adds to the weird time-displacement thing that I’ve got going on.
Has it really only been two weeks since I clocked out for the last time? Like, two weeks ago right now I was sitting on my carriage, about to give my last tour of the summer. I was talking to my mom as she stood on the side of the street that I’d travelled many times a day for the last 100 days.
And somehow those 100 days weren’t long enough for me to feel as though I’m out of place now that I’m back in Abilene.
The whole muddle of it is doing a top-notch job of messing with my head.
I know I didn’t really blog much about the last half of my summer. Much of it was a lot like the first half of the summer: joy and growth mingling with exhaustion and heartache.
The highlights were, as is so often the case in life, sweet people and the heartfelt kindnesses they spoke over me.
Like, one day an older gentleman handed me my tip with some joke that I found genuinely funny, so I laughed aloud because the sun was bright and the grass was green and I was alive, and he met my eyes and said, “That giggle: I like it. Do that often.” And then he smiled and was gone.
Just quiet kindnesses like that.
So many blessings were spoken over me, and luck at school wished, and meaningful clasps of my hand to convey that I was a human and I was real.
I wasn’t just some driver to them.
I was a human.
That’s the real takeaway here: let’s just treat each other like the people we are. None of us are faceless. None of us are nameless. We have backstories and hurts and fears and loves.
So let’s act like it.
On the flipside, the definite lowlight of my summer was when my favorite horse died and I spent two days giving tours around a lump in my throat, fighting with varying levels of success to keep the tears from flooding my eyes and washing down my cheeks.
The worst day, the first day of knowing that I’d never get to drive my sweet boy again, I pulled up to drop off a load of tourists, gushing at the crew to ‘have a fabulous day’ and ‘thank you for taking my tour’ and the thousand other things that I usually meant but meant a little less that day, and one of the guys who was helping unload my carriage remarked, “Wow, you’re in a good mood today.”
Thinking he was serious, I cooed back with my smile firmly in place, “Oh, it’s all an act. Today sucks.”
And he quietly replied, “I know. Your eyes tell it.”
Which was exactly the right thing to say. It was the exact nod to my humanity that kept me from losing my mind.
So if you’re reading this, Daniel, thanks.
…I think that might be what I have to say.
What I had to say.
However you want to put that.
It took all those words just to come up with a few simple points:
- Time still feels weird and irrelevant.
- My summer was neither all bad, nor all good.
- Our words can make or break humanity.
let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer. [psalm 19:14]