Coming back from holidays is supposed to be relaxing right? Wrong!

Jason and I have both been really tired this week and it has taken some reflection in the sun today to realise why…. Here’s some thoughts…

Coming home means unpacking! I would rather leave suitcases sitting in the corner for weeks rather than unpack…. Jason however, is the ‘unpack soon after getting home’ type. And over the years I have adjusted to his way of doing things… so arriving home after 1200 kms of driving we had luggage for 3 and grocery shopping for at least 2 months to unpack. It took awhile!

Coming home means cleaning! I am starting to like the MAF policy which asks you to leave your house clean when you go on holidays in case other staff need to stay there in your absence. While this means a crazy leaving day before holidays, washing sheets, vaccuming, changing beds etc… it does make for a lovely return home! EXCEPT when you live in mould territory… then coming home means time to wash down lots of doors and walls to remove mould.

Coming home means re-establishing rules and routine! As lovely as holidays are, Samuel’s sleeping routines have gone a little wacky while we’ve been away. Coming home means trying to get him into bed for the evening at 7pm … let’s just say it was after 8.30pm when silence reigned in our house last night J

Coming home means confronting once again all that is hard, complicated and confusing about life in Numbulwar! We love it here and we were very keen to return to our lives here… but even three weeks away clouds the realities of life here. Entering into our lives here again in the past week we are seeing again the difficulties of life for our friends. Homelessness, domestic violence, a friend whose husband was in a life threatening car accident, changes in roles for staff at playgroup, missing a dear friend who needs to live elsewhere for her and her children’s safety and on it goes… life is not simple for those in Numbulwar.

Coming home means facing again the reality of death! Death is a common occurrence here and it is celebrated with great ceremony. A man died here yesterday and so last night as we ate dinner we could hear the procession of mourners, accompanied by sounds of wailing and clap sticks, get louder and louder as they approached the morgue next to our house. As the ceremony ended the town went eerily quiet for most of the night, until 5am when a lady near our house started to yell and scream for more than an hour. Most of what she said we couldn’t understand, but the church pastor explained to Jason today that this was part of the mourning procedure too, and that various people would do this throughout the night from their homes. While death and funerals, or having a morgue next door don’t worry me… each time there is a funeral in town I feel a sense of sadness. Sadness that death is celebrated with more dedication than daily life often is. Sadness that for many of these men and women, they have never known the hope that Jesus brings… of a joyous eternal life. And sadness that once again the community is grieving the loss of a friend or family member.

It’s lovely to be home, but I think I needed the three weeks of holiday to prepare for all that coming home involves.