Happiness in Real Life is Like Confetti

That's really all I have to say today. Whether it's made out of cheap recycled paper or bright and shiny plastic sheets, happiness comes from having whatever makes up my life chopped into irregular pieces. To be fair, sadness comes the same way; it's just that happiness is what happens when I notice that the flurrying, falling tidbits of carefully-laid plans look funny!

Hmm. This might be a good way to introduce the fact that I've up and moved to Provo for the next four months and taken a job as a librarian.


Another Cutest Niece in the World

Alaina Bird was born January 28 to my brother Nate and his wife Tiffany. Well, Tiffany did all of the work, but Alaina has been a very good girl for her first three days of life. That now makes 2 cutest nieces in the world. Yeah, I guess there can be more than one. :)

I love Makenzie's face in the second picture. Apparently she quickly got over any worry she may have felt about this new member of the family, because by all reports she adores her little sister and is well-adjusted.


Good News Minute

Come June, my ship sets sail for the wild blue yonder of Connecticut, the Constitution State. (Don't you love the titles states give themselves? As if wee Connecticut made all of 1787 happen. I think I like it there already.)

On a bus ride between New York City and Boston two weeks ago, I sadly slept through the area in which I will be spending the next two years. I've accepted an English teaching job at an inner-city secondary school (exact location TBA) which hopefully will be near Uncle Bill and his family, so Hartford or New Haven at the furthest. It must be said that opening the Teach for America acceptance e-mail felt eerily similar to opening my mission call. There's such a build up of expectation! And then after reading three beautiful sentences a flood of relief washes in, only to ebb out the next day and leave in its wake the gritty satisfaction of having good work to do. I'm a lucky girl: my little ship has yet to find a harbor that disagrees with her, so I'll just keep sailing. Why did I think exodus could only happen via desert or by parting water?

On another note, driving back from Cashmere today I saw THREE bald eagles in the trees along the Wenatchee River. Beautiful.


The Promised Land

A Mr. Lloyd Porritt once gave me advice. He stood looking at a painting of Jerusalem and whispered, "Life is about the Exodus." I was a green missionary in my first area and had no idea what he meant. But it sounded literary, so I took note in case a sage comment should be needed from me later on.

Oddly, not until last Sunday as I browsed an article on the Israeli/Hamas conflict did it come to mind. I have no idea what that says about my subconscious, but at this point I have a way of approaching Lloyd's counsel.

For etymology enthusiasts, "exodus" is originally a Greek word meaning "a going out," literally ex- "out" + hodos "way." I suppose one of the most pressing issues when undergoing exodus is identifying which way one is departing from. Tradition? Habit? Common sense? But most important is the reason causing departure.

I went out of the way of logical and financial sense last weekend. The plane facilitating my little exodus landed in New York City Friday morning, and for the next four days I walked about exploring grad schools, getting a feel for neighborhoods, doing a little sight seeing, even busing up to Boston. Before the trip, the idea of going seemed superfluous, but a gut feeling said "Go." So I came. I saw. I conquered, but not in the way expected. Academically, the trip showed me what I shouldn't do and where I shouldn't go, and the only gut feeling now left is to be patient. I'm not terribly patient.

It was at about this point in their exodus, the middle of the desert, that the children of Israel decided to take matters into their own hands, i.e. making golden calves and trying to sack Moses. Not bright decisions. Especially considering their limited mineral resources and reliance on Moses to hit rocks and create springs of water. I have the feeling that in my present circumstances, making drastic decisions on my own would make about as much sense. So I'll keep trying new ideas and waiting for the next glint of approval off Sinai.
Come to think of it, Moses never entered the Promised Land. Permanent exodus. He must have discovered the secret for getting out of the desert and into the sun.