An Instant and a Lifetime

Yesterday morning, as I drove to my husband’s work to drop off his wallet, I noticed The Rotator parked on the runway.

Yes, my husband works right by a runway. And, yes, The Rotator is an airplane. Specifically, it’s the very same one that took my family here two weeks ago.

Happy Anniversary. Two weeks. It feels like an instant and a lifetime.

In an instant, we entered the world of a military base—uniforms, acronyms, and cheeseball public-service announcements on AFN.  We live on a Spanish base, where the red and yellow flag flies each day, and that musical language floats around corners, and in lines, and from the mouths of children on the playground.

In an instant, we dove into the new culture. We’ve sampled tapas, drank Tinto de Verano (a red-wine spritzer that is lighter and more refreshing than Sangria), and strolled sun-kissed playas. We’ve stumbled over our Spanish (is it la cuenta or la cuesta?), and praised the glories of the Garmen GPS.

We traveled to Gibraltar and met Barbary Apes, then dined on fish and chips in this strange British corner of the Iberian Peninsula.

We toured castles and churches.

It’s a grand adventure.

But then, on long afternoons, I miss my friends.  I miss the easy comfort of people getting my jokes, and smiling when they see me. I miss my gym friends, and my preschool friends, and my church friends and my sister-friends.

The people here are lovely—kind, patient, eager to help. And while it feels like a lifetime, it has been only two weeks.

Friendship, like bread, needs to rise. It can’t be rushed.

And so, I let time and warmth do its work. And I trust that I will find the friends that fill me, and sustain me, and make me smile from the inside out.

This lifetime of the temporary—temporary housing, temporary strangers—-is actually an instant in the big picture. And most days, I remember that. I remember that friends are here, and God and love and a future are all here.

When the lifetime seems too big, I focus on those instants—a sunrise, a hasta luego, or the smallest kernel of kindness.

And I hold on to each one as a small, imperfect hallelujah.

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5 thoughts on “An Instant and a Lifetime

  1. That’s right – friends, God, love, a future are all right where you’re at! Friendships waiting to be discovered and grown and nurtured! I had many of the same feelings when we moved to New Mexico (although on quite a smaller scale! At least I still understood the language! 🙂 ). Although we knew the people we were moving here with to help start the church, they were acquaintances; I missed having friendships with a history. I made many faux pas when I confused someone who was Spanish with Mexican – my bad! In New Mexico that will get you a punch in the nose! All that to say…now I’m home. And you will be too!

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