It is 4 a.m. The world is still sleeping, it is dark outside and there is white snow covering the earth, and trees. I am sitting in our quiet, dark kitchen in a sweatshirt, sweat pants, hat, long socks and a blanket trying to fight off the bitter cold that has become so foreign to my body. My fingers haven't gotten warm since I landed in the Salt Lake City airport three days ago. Everything around me is still - but my thoughts wander to a small city off the coast of Bagasbas beach; a world away from where I am now that is wide awake. The people there are in the late part of the afternoon. I think of them and my heart swells a little bit with love.
The past few days have been a blur of smiling and hugging, feelings of joy and excitement from seeing family and friends; those individuals whom I have been so distant from for so long. But there are other feelings; there is the loss and the pain that I feel from losing others that I love so much. I keep looking at the tall ceilings of our home or the three soft pillows on my bed wondering if it was all real. Did I really live in the Philippines? Everything here is so different from the world I left behind: hot showers, the electricity doesn't randomly go out, I am not a giant, and doing the wash takes only moments. It seems that nearly everything has changed.
It has truly felt like Christmas seeing friends and loved ones again. I don't seem to be able to hug my parents enough, and I also can seem to put enough layers of clothing on. It's freezing. Everything seems the same in some ways, but in others, it is completely different. Time is funny that way I guess. As I lay in bed this morning I thought about this new world I am in now. I was running the same questions over and over in my mind of how to find balance; how to merge my two worlds. How do I keep the memories and the feelings of Naga alive and real in my memory? How do I strive to feel the Gift of the Holy Ghost directing me every day now that the name tag and the perfectly planned schedules are gone? And where do I go from here?
Its good to be home.