I knew I was back in Oxford when I had to climb into wellingtons and a macintosh to get some groceries this afternoon. I slogged through the downpour to the bus stop, the rain rattling and crackling on my umbrella until I caught a slimy and steamy bus into the city. The picture is me upon returning home–don’t miss the push-chair full of groceries. I just couldn’t face the online grocery delivery fees. Perhaps I just wanted to get out for a bit.
My children and my husband are quite ill. Norah started last Thursday night and the darn thing is spreading, as such things do. Many of my friends in the States have talked about how glad they would be to live my life. Let me just say this: No one in the world would have traded places with me on Monday. A transatlantic journey with a baby and a toddler is not an overflowing cup of delight at any time, but try it with the toddler ill. She cried at the top of her lungs for the first 70 minutes on the plane, and was sick in my hands immediately before takeoff. I’m proud to say I caught every last drop.
At journey’s end I probably would have died but two dear friends eased our homecoming. One picked us up at ten p.m. in her car to save the girls and I the last bus ride and the walk in the rain from the bus stop. She brought hugs, food, and help at a very strategic moment! Another precious friend left a lovely meal in the fridge, muffins on the counter, and flowers on the table. Am I not blessed?
Even though the last few days have been full of clinging, crying little ones, lots of smelly messes, and the reconfiguration of circadian rhythms, I am glad to be here. I’m glad because I choose to be glad. I’m glad because I choose to love Oxford, in all of its rainy glory. I choose to find home in this weird and wonderful flat with its concrete block and its weak warm water and its stale smell. (We’ll bake that smell right out of here as soon as someone besides me feels well enough to eat the results.) I’m glad because I don’t have to worry, only trust, and see what a good God I have to trust in.