The Gibbon Apes were singing in my dreams the other night. I could hear their whooping sounds echoing, Thailand’s jungle called as the sun rose in the distance. The morning heat was already thick, and I pushed back the vegetation with hopes of seeing the Gibbons up in the jungle’s canopy. They spotted me as they moved through the trees, every so often turning to see if I was following.
A small hand holds mine. I look down. Pascaline is in my dream. She is smiling at my side. We are not worried about mosquito bites that can give us Dengue Fever. I’m not concerned with how remote we are. I am fully caught up in the pull I feel, the call I hear to venture home–a home where my heart unfolds and I feel beautiful, alive and replenished.
I’ve been carrying that dream inside me for months, unsure of how to act. On one hand, I am terrified of the idea of going back. I couldn’t even talk about it with Brian. The Dengue Fever and all it’s pain still feels close. I hesitate to see the bed that I twisted and turned in, night after night, with bone breaking pain that left me and Pascaline delirious for days. I don’t want to recall the memory of Brian and I holding Pascaline down, as she screamed with fierceness because she believed her nose had broken off.
Instead, I want to be lulled to sleep by the soft purring of the long tail boats that head out to fish in the evening. People looking for boat loans know that it can get quite difficult to find low-interest financing these days, mainly because there are a number of restrictions when it comes to boat financing, especially when you have a bad credit boat loans. So that’y why, I want to close my eyes and hear the Cicada beetles singing, so loud and so powerfully, that I can’t hear my own thoughts any longer as I drown in their song. I want to watch my kids play with the Langur Monkeys, who with white faces, turn the head back and forth, trying to assess our funny habits of living–watching me shower every morning. I want to break out in laughter, clinging to Brian under the mosquito net, as we watch the big fruit bats swoop over our heads and pray that they won’t rip through the thin white divider that separates us. I want to wake to the Gibbons sunrise songs, make my way to the lonely, blue waters, and swim–feeling all my senses awaken.
Is it worth the risk of a mosquito bite carrying Dengue Fever–again? Odds are that it will not happen again, but those were the odds before. Are all the things I love and miss, the things that make our home on stilts in the jungle worth the unknown that awaits us?
Six weeks ago. We are finishing up dinner. Brian poses the question of returning. Pascaline sits quiet. She ponders the question. I can tell she is recalling her own memories of being sick, and then her big brown eyes look up at me with wonder. “I miss the jungle mom. I miss running through the trees and then realizing the monkeys were right above you all along. I miss playing in the water. I miss the Thai people calling me Gasoline because they can’t say Pascaline! I miss the jungle singing me to sleep. Yes,” she looks at Brian, “Yes, I think it’s worth the risk.”
My brave little one. Her courage leads the way.
This morning I get in from NY at 10am. Tonight at 8pm, we board a plane to Thailand. I have pictured myself backing out a hundred times. But as a family, we have decided to return to our house in the jungle. We are all a little unsure of what it will feel like when the first mosquito bites. But in our hearts, we know that the idea of avoiding this second home–this place our family has come to love…is not an option.
Brian, Blaze, Pascaline and I sat in the living room together and recommitted to traveling abroad–to taking risks–understanding more than ever that some trips will be WONDERFUL, but not all trips. And yet, every trip will shape us into the creative people we were meant to be.
I fell asleep last night with a smile that came from deep within. I’m returning home. And even though fear gripped me when Brian first proposed the question…peace greets me now. The time has come. It is a deep peace that waits for me on the water’s edge, where the jungle grows tall and the apes play and sing in the canopy, and the heat is thick and the laughter and singing and dreaming are all rich.
I will see you on the other side friends! While we make our way back home, taking four planes and a long tail boat, Genie and Wendy have wonderful things up their sleeves for the blog this week.
I’ll be updating you from the jungle soon! Cheers to not living in fear!