Tuesday, May 1, 2018


 Hiking, I've recently discovered, can bring out the best in people.
 And also the worst.  As can being stretched in the elast-o-meter of living in a very foreign culture.
The two (hiking and foreign living) collided last weekend into what is rapidly becoming an almost daily melt-down.
Truthfully, it's not just living in K'stan that's challenging for some people.  It's being adopted, being a different ethnicity than everyone else, and experiencing racism weekly.
Frustrations with the latter three reached a tipping point just as we reached the middle of our three-hour hike on a rugged mountain path.
It doesn't make sense that all that negativity would spill over on such a wildly beautiful day, with friends and scented air and friendly farmers.
But trudging has been known to send the best of us into a tail-spin, if truth be told.
We are plodding through a new awareness of prejudice, identity, and lack of identity.  Maturity brings perception, mindfulness and comprehension.
It sounds like a plus, but, folks, it's not.  I wish she could've stayed blissfully unconscious of the pointing fingers, turning heads, and snickering lips. 
 The road is steep and bumpy and really no fun at all.
 Certainly there are bright spots.
 And we are striving to carry each other's burdens.  That's what I'm emphasizing lately;  we are family, and family helps you get through hard times.  Together.  We all hurt for the disparaging comments and downright ignorance.  We all can, if we're not being too logical, reach down deep to our eight-year-old selves and summon up grumpiness and unreasonable conclusions.
 But you're more likely to find us singing loud and proud to The Greatest Showman soundtrack:

"When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me."

 Even though those were not the prevailing thoughts in our young one's mind as we climbed and then descended in the midst of a glorious vista, we have the mantra on repeat.
You are precious, smart, stunning, kind.  God made you EXACTLY right.  I'm so glad you're my daughter.  I wouldn't change a thing.
   We are willing to say it again and again and again and again and again.
As long as it takes.

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