I unpacked my suitcase last night, and stowed it back in the top of my closet. After a five week stint of traveling and house-sitting, the poor black thing is tired and wilted. It's a tough cookie, this suitcase, and it's carrying me through my unexpectedly mobile year of volunteering with great efficiency and stamina.
This last trip was hard on it, though. I was gone for two weeks, one at the beach and another in the mountains, plus a night at home in Roanoke in between. It's tough to pack for all the climate possibilities of both sea level and 8,000 feet above, even tougher to squeeze in birthday presents, mill mountain coffee, and long-lost favorite books stored in my parents' attic. When I tugged my suitcase off the baggage claim belt at 2 a.m. yesterday morning, the zippers were straining and the front pocket was bulging. The thing had reached capacity.
I'm sympathetic. I'm full up, too, with travels and tan-lines, airport chatter and in-flight crosswords. I'm sated and satisfied, refreshed and renewed. I spent a week at the beach with my family, eating seafood and lounging by the ocean, laughing and reading. And I spent a week in the Rockies with 100 other young Brethren, marveling at the beauty of those peaks and reveling in the sense of shared understandings, praying and commiserating and anointing and washing feet.
Now I'm home in Elgin, headed back to work. There's plenty to be done here, as always. But I'm intending to dive back into it with intention and purpose, having been reminded of why it is that I'm doing these things and living this way.
My suitcase won't get clean. There are grains of sand and grounds of coffee clinging in its every crevice, refusing to let go and fall out. I hope these grains and grounds that have accumulated in me these last few restful weeks stick around for a while, too.