I looked up at the end of the day and was met with such a sight, a setting sun on a dark river. I spent much of the day in my usual spot in the cafe and wrote until my brain was fuzzy and reduced me to poor company. Left in my own head for so long, I could not string a whole sentence together in any language. (Ask Ida.) But I had a lovely time. I wrote descriptions.
He moved to the window and touched the plants on the sill, feeling their cool soil between his fingers. He had never seen such plants. Some had long, fibrous roots that budded and flowered, thick green stalks that split and narrowed into heavy pink and white and yellow flowers. Other plants had been tended and cut, vines lifted onto thin cane frames to guide their creativity. A tiny plum tree, potted, trimmed and carefully cultivated, stood to the side, almost obscured under its mass of fruits. Edmund leaned on the wide windowsill and pinched one of its plums, surprised to find it ripe and warm from the sunshine.
He looked out over the city. Mr. Edward's house must be seated high atop the hill because the ridings spread out before him, houses descending in a gentle slope, and the quarters curled toward the sea. The ships were just coming into port, their white sails crisp against blue skies.
I puzzled over how to convert years of newsletters that highlighted specific events over tens of months and called people into the mission field, into a book that wasn't a list of names and places, but a narrative of interlocking stories of faith and ministries and how they relate to my father, to myself personally, to our place in this world. All stories eventually turn back on ourselves, pull us inside out and examine our being.
I must tell a story, but above all, I must tell it well.