I went to Girl Scout camp. I hated it.
I love NOT camping. Give me a comfy bed and electricity any day of the week!
So, to go away for a week in the middle of summer heat, sleeping in an XL tent with spiders and a communal shower was my idea of hell. Absolute hell. Even as a kid.
Naturally, the homesickness set in. And, being a resourceful little shit, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I plotted, lied and schemed to make my big break via a single wall phone outside the nurse’s office.
And it was a phenomenal success . . . until I got home. Then, I had chores as my punishment for lying to grown-ups. Oooooopie doooooo.
Homesickness is a funny beast. I visited family for weeks at a time, I had marathon sleepovers with my girlfriends, I went on vacations with and without my parents – without event. But, when I was outside of my “comfort zone,” (aka: Deliverance) my psyche absolutely rejected the experience.
“Danger, danger Will Robinson . . . abort mission . . . abort, abort!!!”
Naturally, when I found myself among apocalyptic storms and the daytime hooker, my psyche gave a similar response. I desperately longed for a yard full of lightning bugs and my ears ached for the sound of katydids, tree frogs and crickets. The difference this time, however, was recognizing the source of discomfort and the consolation of knowing my ability to weather all with a little sidewalk therapy.
I set my morning alarm for 6 and sought to re-embrace my morning walk. I figured getting back into a routine would be the best thing for me. I needed something that felt familiar.
When I got to the beach, I heard the most amazing sound . . . a southern accent. I almost burst into tears.
I started a conversation and we fell into step. As it turns out, he was from Charlotte. Sparkles and stars and happiness!!! He shared the details of his work function and I told him I just moved away from North Carolina.
As we were chatting, a lovely woman with dark chocolate skin, light brown eyes and a head full of beautiful braids came up to us. “Excuse me, this is going to sound strange, but I felt called to come over here and speak a blessing over the two of you. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence we’re all on the beach together this morning.”
I almost burst into tears because I, too, stopped believing in coincidence.
I cupped my hands to receive her words of love, health, happiness, peace and abundance. I poured the words into my heart and thanked her for her generosity of spirit.
On my way back to the little pool cottage, my feet were lighter and my heart beat with a noticeable fullness.
It’s funny that, sometimes, it’s a tiny hit of home that helps ease homesickness – like an accent that wraps around your eardrums like a cashmere blanket.
And, other times, it’s a whole lot of God working through a wonderful Haitian woman speaking blessings over strangers on the beach.