To Overcome ...

As the sun sets and dusk settles over the world, the darkness that envelopes the night often enters our lives, hearts and minds as well. In much of the world, tomorrow is a question mark. It can be hard to discern the lucky ones from those who, may or may not, make it through the night. War, famine, pestilence, natural disaster, are for most, real and constant. In the West we suffer much angst over not getting our “fair share” and being frustrated in our efforts to attain our goals. Few understanding that getting their “fair share” would ultimately mean giving up much of what they already have. Often we are surrounded by whiners and complainers, loudly advertising their weak hearts and minds.

While the big picture varies little from day to day, occasionally one witnesses a small victory that looms large in the life of an individual. As the sun rises, a new day dawns and a young woman is reborn. From a mindset of, I can’t and I won’t, comes the realization that, I can and I did. Three days in a rain forest, in torrential downpours. Steep muddy trails, leeches, bugs, rivers, elephants, strange hill tribes food and accommodations. Wet, dirty, week and tired, from days of hiking the rugged terrain, and yet somehow feeling refreshed and renewed. What had seemed insurmountable at first, is now a fait accompli. Dread and foreboding is pushed from the forefront and replaced by the joy and exhilaration of victory and achievement.

I find myself humbled as I had been certain that my wife’s friend, would at some point, call for a vehicle to rescue her from the ravages of the jungle. I am sure she was tempted and I admire her ability to resist that temptation. Though still noticeably the girl we have known, she has grown and continues to do so. No doubt the boyfriend has played a role but since we have known her for 10 years and him for the proverbial 10 minutes, the focus is on her. I wish to giver her credit, where credit is due, regardless of how much help she may have had along the way. So here is the Village Farang saying, “I was wrong. I underestimated our friend.”

After resting up and sampling our slow paced village life. After a good massage in the comfort of our home. The adventuring spirt of our guests resurfaced. Chiang Mai was calling them. So we mounted our trusty black steed, with puppy in tow, and headed south through the mountains to our much larger sister city of the North. Staying at the same hotel but separating during the day to pursue our different agendas, allowed them to be the tourist as we visited friends and did some shopping for the house. We ended up returning home early, to allow them the freedom to do as they chose and return when they pleased. Being no less delighted to return home than us, our puppy celebrated her homecoming by plunging several times into our pond.

And now the end has come. We have just returned from the airport and things do seem a bit quiet, with our guests gone. Catching up with an old friend. Meeting someone new. It all makes for a busy, whirlwind of conversation and activity. With two brief and timely breaks, the two weeks seemed to pass almost unnoticed. One day here, the next day gone, all in the blink of an eye.

 It strikes me that the good thing about such visits, is the intensity. Compacting and condensing years into days. Whereas the bad thing about such visits, is the intensity. It is an artificial high that is simply unsustainable in day to day existence. One must endure separation in order to bask in the joys of reuniting. Living where we do, the separation will no doubt pass with celerity and our recent meeting will feel as if it were only yesterday, when we once again meet.