A family of eleven carries no small burden, as we board another train, another bus another place and catch a taxi to the place that we will next call home. I'll miss Italy, but I know it's time to go. I'm leaving my home, feeling like I didn't stay long enough in this house on a hill overlooking an Italian city. The church bells now are ringing as the last leaves of autumn fall. Here I am leaving a village that is the postcard perfect image of peace. As I pack I can't help but see the images in my mind being posted by my facebook friends living in Ukraine. The city was peaceful in the fall when we heard the call and decided to move. The needs of the orphans pulling on the cords of our hearts, calling us to come, to love to leave Italy behind.
The city of L'viv spoke life, and depth, and mystery to me. My heart could hear the city yearning for hope, redemption and healing at the same time. The cobblestone streets beneath my feet whispered to me that these street would lead my family to our next home. So we answered a call, a few weeks have passed and now thousands of angry protesters gather on the streets, building fires, waving flags, demanding change. And I'm afraid. Yet the fear is overshadowed by something greater, so I must pack now, and we will go. My husband isn't afraid, but full of faith. There are tickets in our hands and it's too late to change our plans, and my mom and dad are waiting for us there. I've seen the faces of the orphans, and a revolution Ukraine can't stop us now.
I'm making a list of all the things I need to pack, I know my husband needs his four guitars. Susie needs her violin, and I need at least 100 books. I have a few pieces of pottery to remind us of Italy. Isaac would bring his bake, but it was stolen, the chain was cut at the train station about two months ago.
The pile of things that we will need to give away or sell outnumbers all the things that must be packed. But sometimes the things that truly matter are the things we leave behind, the things we give away and the legacy we leave. I only have two hands anyway. One hand is for holding on to my husband, the other holds the hand of a little child, or a paint brush, a broom, or a pencil. I'll leave behind a string of words, I'll leave behind my murals, I'll leave behind the songs I've written that I sang to my babies when rocking them to sleep. Yes, life is more about we pass on than what we hold on to. Two hands, one for holding on, one for letting go.
Once we figure out what to hold tightly to and what to let go of life becomes so much more simple, focused and full of peace. I'm holding on to my faith in God and the peace that comes from knowing He is holding on to me.
Right now I hold a pencil in my hands, as I fill the pages of a spiral bound book. With this pencil I will let go of my story, my memories, my secrets, my vision, one word at a time, why hold it all inside? Maybe my story is one more thing in life that I need to give away, as I pack these bags, and make a pile of the things that I ought to let go of.
Another Tuesday in a cafe on a hill in Italy
My home is just a step away on a hill in Italy
I have a latte coming my way as I write my silent thoughts and fears
The sun light breaks now through the shades to find me here
Add the sugar, still the silver spoon
Now the music begins to softly play
Hallelujah, Hallelujah is the tune
the words bring peace to my troubled day
When I leave her it's time to pack and go
A new city, country, and a new found home
an unsettled land that lies beneath the snow
So many things in life are still unknown
I read the news it speaks of revolution
The facebook posts all hint of civil war
Protect us God, and grant us Your protection
We look to You, it's You that we live for.
Here I am, I feel at peace, my coffee's gone
On a hill in Italy where nothing now seems wrong.
But past the mountains, beyond this quiet shore,
A million rise in unrest fearing war