Monday, April 5, 2010

It's a Baoding, Tianjin Spring

I walked outside of my apartment today and put my nose to the wind: fresh air. I sensed that Bethany was baking granola in her apartment, as the scent betrayed her secrecy. I heard the laughs of the students as they walked through the corridor between their dormitories and the construction site, where students will dwell next fall in a brand new building. The students carried their large, multi-colored pastel bottle fit to lug "ri shi" (hot water) from the canteen and knocked badminton birdies with their rackets long-months since stored away in closets and under beds for the winter. The sky is blue today...oh GOD, the sky is blue today.

"It's all these little things that make the difference," my friend Stafford Craymer said as he and his girlfriend, Kerry walked through my campus after visiting my morning classes at 8 AM and visiting my apartment. I can't describe how freeing it is having him and Kerry here together, a sense of renewal being able to delve deeply into our common past (all three of us went to college together) and sharing in the experience of the week at hand. It's a beautiful thing to watch them walking together through their mutual stations in life.

Our time in Tianjin was equally brilliant, just another confirmation of the glory at hand. We (the entire IECS family presently in China, plus several visiting members of the Family) met together and shared several memorable experiences, including walking through the multi-cultural streets of Tianjin, enjoying the chaning seasons as we stripped off our coats and allowed our bare arms to dangle in the cool breezes of the Spring afternoon. the visit was short, but so packed with little nuggets of brilliance. Talking with my China family is always something that comes at such a premium, just being able to delve deeply into one anothers' lives and ask some prodding (if not down-right challenging) questions of one another as we walk through our final days of this semester in China. As I looked around the room during our group's meeting time the night before Easter, I saw a dozen faces of people who would not be here, in China, next year, likely to disperse to corners of the globe/ the United States to celebrate our freedom in different ways. I felt strange thinking that I am among those leaving to go to...somewhere else. I have been accepted to a school in Vancouver, British Columbia that looks amazing, perhaps even "perfect" for me (if such a thing can be so), so I'm excited to see where I'm discern the leading of the father. I can't help but feel adrift again... my friends and I called this "the transitional twenties" after I graduated from college, and yet here I am getting ready to perpetuate that very sense for another few years. Anchored in the abiding spirit of the Father, there I find my "roots".

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