So where I’m from in Canada, it’s considered a semi-arid desert. Yeah, we have four seasons, yes, it snows, but it can also get blazin’ hot and dry in the summer. I’ve driven over tumbleweeds rolling down the street. We have cowboys and ranches. The hills are only green a short while in the spring and early summer and after that, they’re mostly brown with the scattered green of sagebrush and pine trees.
South Korea, on the other hand, is green. So green!
Driving to my small school an hour over the mountains (or rather, big hills) there is so much greenery! There’s one particular creeping vine thing that is on EVERYTHING along the road. I don’t even remember what the hills themselves look like anymore.
When I mentioned to a friend here how, “Everything is so green!” they just shrugged and went, “Yeah.” To me, it’s, “Wow!” There’s evidence of so much life in the landscape here – you don’t have to dig for it.
Across the street from where I usually wait Sunday mornings to catch the bus to church, you can hear these multitudes of bugs that are humming/chirping with the humidity. I’ve asked about what bug it is that makes that sound,
but I haven’t yet found an answer.
Nevermind. Just googled it. I searched, “what are those bugs in hot summer days in anime” and boom. Done. Answer: Cicadas. And for the record, I knew Cicadas made some kind of similar sound, but I guess it’s just been a loooong time since I’d heard one and knew, “Ah, that’s a Cicada.”
A friend here told me the more humid it gets, the more they chirp – and boy, do they. It sounds like there’s a whole thick jungle across the street from the bus stop, layered in bamboo, lot’s of greenery, and I’m not sure what else.
Another effect of this humidity (which, I realize, is not as high as other countries, yet still makes me melt like nothing ever has…if this humidity turns me into a superhero with its extremity, my name would be, “The Human Popsicle!” Because of all the melting, y’know. Bad joke quota: filled) is the frizz, of course. I’m on my way to becoming Ms. Frizzle if I don’t watch it. Not that that would be an entirely bad thing, or at all, actually. All I’d need then is a magic school bus, a lizard for a pet, and a snazzy wardrobe. As it is, my seemingly eternal penchant for braiding my hair staves it off…mostly.
If you’re reading this blog and perchance aren’t aware, I’ve been wearing my hair in braids fairly consistently since…hmmm…2001? Maybe even longer. I can’t even remember now. I was only nine years old at the time, though I had managed to develop a VERY strong opinion on the matter of my hair and, specifically, HOW it should be braided. Ahem…THANK YOU Mom for putting up with all the endless times that I got you to re-braid my hair because it just “wasn’t right.” That is, before you taught me how to do it myself. There was a period five years ago when I lopped 8 inches of my hair off, making it short enough that I couldn’t wear braids. That didn’t last for too long.
Ah, good times. Like that time I was, what? Not even 5? When I decided that I no longer liked the colour Pink, and would cease to wear it. And dresses. Many pictures of myself in dresses as a child involved a tear-stained face. That turned to scowling, then to smirking, then to grudging acceptance over the years. Currently, my dresses are paired with a smile laced with a feeling of “I’m enjoying the occasion I’m wearing this dress for, but as soon as it’s over I’m changing into those jeans and t-shirt I have stashed in my bag.”
Anyhow. The greenery. The Cicadas. The humidity.
It’s definitely been like living on the other side of the globe. Surprise, surprise! There have been meltings of both the inside and outside variety, and then resolidifyings of both. I’ve found life here, though, and it wasn’t difficult to spot. Just like the greenery, the friendships and activities and people here are out in the forefront, smiling, showing me new things, and giving me their open hands in kindness.
So I’m taking hold of them. They’re different hands from those back home, but they’re showing me different things. They’re teaching me to stretch my mind and my heart, to jump sometimes, make new and awesome connections, to see all that my God has made. I’m taking hold of their hands because they’re connected to people that God has joyfully led me to here, and vice versa.
I know the hands of family and friends back home will still be there – or at least within reaching distance. When it’s time for me to return home, I will do so with delight and grip their fingers firmly.
Right now, I will grab hold of the hands I have here, link together with them and delight in their God-born Awesomeness.
Speaking of both hair and hands, here’s a fun throwback from that summer of ‘too-short-for braids’ hair. I don’t always wear thick black 3D glasses from the theatre, but when I do it’s because I had a nerd-themed birthday party at the age of 19. And loved it.