It’s like I am standing on one end of a simple footbridge, a path I’ve walked and loved for years; but I’m suddenly skittish and afraid to cross. That’s how I feel about writing and sharing my art and photography today.
Two days ago, I received the humbling encouragement that my post was selected for “Freshly Pressed.” The editor warned in her notification email that I should be prepared for many new readers. What a thrill to watch my “stats page” light up with readers from all over the world! When I see the names of countries like Estonia, Columbia, Belarus, or Iraq registering in my “views by country” column, it just makes me happy.
Honestly, I feel like I am in a bit of exile right now – I love traveling. When I was 12 years-old and just a simple Colorado country girl, my parents broached the idea of moving our family of six (four kids ages 1-12) to Australia for an optional, temporary job transfer for my dad. We decided together to embark on the adventure of living in the Outback for a year-and-a-half. Upon stepping off that airplane in the hot dry air of Alice Springs, I immediately felt invigorated by meeting people very different from myself. It’s become an insatiable hunger.
Since then I’ve been privileged to travel to Holland, Germany, Belgium, England, Hong Kong, Singapore, Fiji, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Viet Nam, and Nepal.
Last year about this time, I made the excruciating decision to leave a job I loved that took me around the world. My soul kept whispering what I believe it was hearing from God, that what is most important in this particular season is to focus my time and emotional energy on the four people closest to home, my children. And I listened. It’s been an adventure no less thrilling or satisfying than meeting incredible people in far-flung places; but I admit, I still hold this deep curiosity and yearning to explore the mysteries of the globe.
In a way, knowing that you are out there in places halfway around the world reading my thoughts satisfies that craving. If I imagine myself settling across a table from you, just you, with a cup of coffee or tea (depending on which your culture prefers), and listening to your stories and maybe sharing a few of my own, my heart overflows and writing is easy. I have the courage to step over that little bridge. But if I stop and think the big thought that people all over the world are reading what I write, evaluating my thoughts, style and worth of what I have to say – I am completely intimidated and I can’t take another step forward.
So, please, take a seat across from me, let me serve you a cup of Kenyan chai, Nepali tea, Vietnamese iced coffee, or American coffee run through my French Press, (or whatever social drink is most loved in your country), and let’s just talk.
The fact that you are spending these precious few moments of your life with me means the world to me.