May 3, 2010

This Monday in May

This morning I woke up in the jungle. The air was hot and heavy. I put my hand on my chest, my skin was sticky from the night sweat. I could hear the rain outside and the birds making music with their fellow jungle creatures.

I opened my eyes, only to find the familiar surroundings of my bedroom. 8:00

I crawled out of bed, and shuffled over to the thermostat- 84 degrees. Good grief. In the rain and all the windows open.

I was thirsty and my stomach churned- I knew I shouldn't have rinsed my toothbrush in the tap water- I said to myself. On Saturday afternoon, we returned home from our camping trip to find out that a water main had broken, and we were in the affected area. You must boil your tap water before drinking they said, lest we all be filled with E. Coli or something like that. The dishes have been piling up since then, because I have been too lazy to wash them and then rinse them in a bleach solution. Fortunately for us, we have a plentiful supply of water storage, thanks to all the great counsel from our church authority . No need to boil pond water or scavenge the stores for bottled water.

No E. Coli, my stomach was just telling me it was dreadfully hungry.

Then my heart started pounding and I felt short of breath- the feeling you get when your body is one step ahead of your mind, when it remembers something it's nervous about before you've even thought of it. What's today? I asked. Monday. The beginning of the last week before Taylor leaves. China. For the most part I've been so care free, then today comes along and I'm filled with anxiety. Relax, keep calm, there's no reason to be nervous. It's change, I struggle with change, and my body can sense it from afar.

I went about the day. Did a little work, a little laundry, studied a little German- Der Stift ist in der rechten Hand der Frau, das Papier ist in ihrer linken Hand- ran some errands, saw a new baby. I smiled at the grocery store when a women said to me "I'm sahry, my husband pahked that carriage in the way, I'll yell at him for you for pahking so bahdly."

A carriage
, I later explained to Taylor, is for carrying people, not food. Why do they call it a carriage?

The missionaries were coming for dinner, and we were making BBQ Chicken pizza. I was regretting using the oven on a day like today. I needed the measuring cup, where was it? In the sink, dirty and full of tap water. I tackled the dishes, bleached them all, just to get my measuring cup.

The missionaries left us with a message from the Book of Mormon, that sometimes God asks us to do hard things - it helps us to stretch and grow, and allows us to be a tool in his hand to bless the lives of others.
"Have you ever felt a prompting like that?" They asked. I told them about China, knowing that He told me to go, even though I didn't want to, but knowing that He has a plan and that good will come of it whether for myself or for others. I think they were prompted to give me that message today.

I looked at the thermostat again tonight. I was still sweating. 80 degrees. Why is it so hot?
And then my heart started pounding again, and I realized when I woke up this morning I wasn't in a jungle, it was China. That's why I got so nervous. My body remembered the feeling of the place where I am headed. The heat, the thirst, the churning stomach.

3 more weeks. I can do this.
*Photo above: Canals of Beijing


  1. Jodi, love your writing. It's captivating. Next, I'm glad we left before the water catastrophe hit. And finally, you have whet my appetite all the more for China this summer. Hot, sweaty and sticky; just the way us Texans prefer our summers. :)

  2. Very nice writing. I don't do well with change either even if it's good

  3. You're a very talented writer Jodi. Keep breathing. And focus on the egg rolls.

  4. Jodi three month is not that long.just enjoy all the things.Take craft classes and learn new stuff.The time will fly by.Maybe you get pregnat while you in China.Good luck to both of you.Dont forget to send us pictures.

  5. I love this post! Enjoy it while it lasts; China has some serious adventure-making potential.