If our time is India is a half-marathon, we’re in the last 500 yards.
In each of the seven halves I’ve run, for me this last quarter of a mile is an explosive mix of excitement and sheer exhaustion. It’s really only the crowd and promise of relief that keeps me going.
That’s where I am. I’d bet that’s where a whole lot of us are at this point in the year.
But this year the last part of the race is a bit tougher and more poignant than it has been over recent few years. As we prepare to leave India, I get the distinct sense that I may not run this race again.
There is so much heaviness in taking in the last Saturday soccer, the last happy hour, the last rickshaw ride. I know none of these things will ever happen quite the same again.
In it all I keep searching for our take aways from India. Why we’ve spent the last four years here. The significance of our time. And perhaps that search is in vain at this point. Those big ideas don’t often surface until long after the last take off.
I can’t help but think about how much our family has grown here. Mumbai, and our special corner of the city, ASB, has given our older two children the bulk of their childhood memories and experiences. Stella was a baby when we arrived. Like, a full on, in a carseat, diaper wearing baby. Now, she’s such her own person, passionate about books and drawing and all the injustices of the world caused by her sister. Here, Paul took on a teaching position in the high school, earned his Masters degree, and spent more time on Google docs than should be allowed by law. I found my niche in early childhood. I put a bit of sweat and definitely some tears into growing a program that was suited for our youngest learners. I found some time to write. I got a taste of solo parenting for two solid years while Paul put in ridiculous hours studying. We are not leaving as the same family that landed four years ago.
Mumbai was our vessel for all of this.
Without a doubt we’ll walk away from here with great memories, growing experiences, and pieces of culture that have shaped us, but for now I keep thinking about how much India has given us.
Just a glance outside our windows reminds us that we are incredibly blessed by the life we’ve been given. And that really it was just luck that landed us in the circumstances we live in.
I’ve learned that whatever I fix my eyes on I will see. Beauty exists everywhere in this city, if you’re willing to look for it.
That we need each other desperately. Our own little unit in a big, big city.
I’m grateful for our time here. And I’m just beginning to get a lump in my throat when I think about saying good bye to it all.
Like most of the races I’ve run, I’m exhausted and ready to be done, and yet I don’t want the experience to end.