Six days and counting until Sweetie and I head out for adventure. With very little to go on, we are growing more and more excited about this giant step outside our comfort zone. For me, it's not just about being going somewhere new or around people I don't know, which has always given me pause. No, I'm beginning to realize that this is a beginning step in moving away from the life that I've know for 15 years. It's a start to shedding some of my grief, and putting my toes in the deep end of new experiences.
I'm both anticipating and worrying about the whole trip. I've always been an anxious traveler. You know how Santa has to check his list more than once. Well that's how I am with my ticket and boarding pass. I'm a mess until the plane's wheels are tucked safely under its belly and we are climbing skyward. Then I cover my head with a blanket, tune out the flight attendant's warnings and hopefully sleep until we are land at our final destination. I've just checked our itinerary. I think if we were in a race with a wagon train heading west the wagons might win. Let me just say it's going to be a long day with opportunities galore to spend time in uncomfortable airline seats.
According to the information we've gotten from the organization sponsoring this trip, we are about to embark on an adventure. They even put it on their logo: Good Goers Mission-Based Adventure Travels. They also mention achy muscles and bug bites, but I'm choosing to focus on the adventure part. Their literature states that a Good Goers trip will test your courage, obedience and faith while at the same time offering a rewarding opportunity to impact lives. Like Suzi Q performing for a Milkbone, I'm ready to roll up my sleeves for the promise of a reward for me and the people I will meet.
So, where is this adventure to take place, you ask?
We are going to the Oaks Indian Mission in Oaks, Oklahoma, in the heart of the Cherokee Nation.
The mission was started in 1838 by Moravian missionaries who traveled the Trail of Tears with the Cherokee. Today, the Oaks now provides residential care for 30 private, tribal and state placed children between 5-18 years old.
I can't tell you why this feels right to me but it does. I've always suspected I was an Indian maiden in a former life. I can remember reading about the Trail of Tears in school and feeling a pain in my heart at the hardship these brave people must have endured. And I've spent time (not enough, but some) in the Smokey mountains. A place many Cherokee originally called home. It's fitting, somehow, that in seeking to serve God and His people, my first trip would be to the place where genetic remembering of our Tennessee roots could be a bond.
In six days I have to be psyched and packed and ready to go. I think that will be enough time if I don't dawdle much longer here at my computer. As I asked before please keep your positive energy flowing our way.
If I fill myself up with gratitude I won't have any room left for fear.