“Don’t you see that children are GOD’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy ?” Ps. 127:3 (MSG)
I was deeply sad to leave the girls behind. Even so, I was filled with a deep, unyielding peace. I remember from the time I was a child hearing people talk about “the peace that passes understanding”. It was this peace, a peace that made no sense, even to me, that guarded my heart as I turned towards home. Of course, there was also the matter of my scripture reading for the day.
“He led them on safely.” Ps. 78:53
“Behold, I send an angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.” Ex.23:20
“They did not gain possession of the land by their sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them.” Ps. 44:3
I knew, knew God was with me and would be faithful.
I settled into my seat on the airplane and reached up to open the vent full blast. Air-conditioning. Blissful, delightful air- conditioning. It took me only a moment to retrieve my novel and settled in for the first leg of my trip home and once we were in the air and the flight attendant came by with some chocolate and a Sprite with lime, I could barely contain my joy. I must have looked as grateful and contented as I felt because before long, I noticed the man next to me smiling in amusement.
He motioned to my copy of “The Good Earth” and said, “I read that once, long, long ago.”
He was Haitian, well educated and most likely, wealthy. We talked for a long time and I listened hungrily as he enlightened me on many things about my daughters’ homeland. He explained to me different aspects of the current political situation. He spoke of his hopes, and fears concerning the upcoming presidential election (the first since the Aristide was ousted).
He told me the procedure one goes through if one’s vehicle is hijacked.
“Well”, he said “Everyone knows where they take the cars. So, you just get some of your friends, some weapons and you go get the vehicle.”
“Are you kidding me?” I asked.
“No” he smiled. “I’m very serious. If however, it is a kidnapping for ransom, well, that is a bit more complicated.”
Then, I asked him about the strange, very loud noise I heard in the middle of the night.
“That was probably a frog. Years ago, someone brought over these huge frogs from
Africa and they have flourished here” he said.
“Oh”, I replied. “I thought it was a Voodoo priestess with a megaphone.”
“Well” he remarked dryly, “That is possible too.”
The plane landed and we said our good byes. I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed straight to a phone to call my husband. I was so happy to hear his voice, I could barely hold back the tears. We talked until time to board my plane.
The flight was only about two hours long and as I neared home, an orange glow from the setting sun washed over billowy clouds and filled the cabin. Then, it hit me: In only a few moments, I would be with my husband and other three children. A sob of longing and relief caught in my throat and my eyes filled with tears. I had missed them so much and it would be so good to be with someone who loved me again. Then, as soon as I became emotional I laughed, because I realized the longing for my husband and children was the same emotion I felt as I was landing in Port-Au-Prince and realized I would soon be with my daughters for the first time.