Thursday, March 11, 2010

Delight versus despair

I heard the geese today, calling to each other in the sky as if encouraging one another, a sound that always lifts my spirits.

Spring is in the air. The first snowdrop is blooming. The snow is melting. The sun is shining.

Somewhere in Haiti, children sweat in the sun, waiting for food.

My workgroup celebrated bonus day with lunch out.

Haitians search for their next meal, not sure whether they’ll get one at all that day. Even before the earthquake, eating only one small meal per day was normal.

My body is here in the spring, the warmth, the promise of new life and a new season; my mind is in Haiti, a place of despair, hopelessness, and brutal heat, a place where I will be in a few short days.

“Prepare yourselves,” said the trip leader a few days ago. “Civilization as you know it ends when you arrive in Haiti.”

A catastrophe of biblical proportions. A place where every email you ever sent or received marked “urgent” seems like a joke.

Feeding 800 orphans.

Sleeping under armed guards.

Haiti. In six days.

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What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)