Lisa-Jo challenged me to write a post about the best piece of mail I received this week in just five minutes!
It's a midnight email, the one I don't receive until the next day at work with my hair all stringy and straight from needing to be washed again, the one that just starts with "Hi love!" and there it is: the best thing. She loves me.
She is my Uganda journeyer, the one who ventured beyond the bounds of our campus this spring into a land of red dirt and wonder, of hot sun and rice and beans and instant coffee, of stories of Ugandan Christian University students.
She is the one who writes love into every typed word from the land of rolling blackouts and no internet. She writes love, and I feel her fingers clack their way across the keyboard and find that piece, that piece of my heart that was just missing today. That piece that left on some early morning plane to another place, and she knows. She doesn't even need to ask.
She just writes love. She just finds the piece of my heart I couldn't find today and holds it out: here, Hil. I can hear her voice in her words. I can hear it in how she wants to know about life now, life here in this smaller place, life in my moment of just needing something, a taste of cappuccinos together in the red booth with the cracked leather and duct tape of the Atomic. She calls me love, and friend, and reminds me that all this? All this glorious hardness of being home in a place I don't know how to call home anymore, all this struggling to see myself bright and cheerful in the midst of winter, all this exuberance, all this living, is what she wants to know about.
She is my coffee beans and sunburn friend, my farmer lover of the land friend, my silence is just about as golden as talking together friend, my friend who can hear me breathe on the phone and know just what is going on in my insides.
And so she knows, in that midnight email from far away, in that special black and white shaped moment, bounded by the keystrokes of consonants and silent sounds, that I need to hear love. She spells it big in my heart: L. O. V. E. periods marking the places where I should stop and listen to it. Listen to her tell me - Hilary, I love you.
She catches my eye in the bleariness of Monday morning and then the best thing - she catches my heart and helps me put it back together.