Monday, September 6, 2010

Call of the Wild

My one & only daughter got married this weekend. Now she & hers are whirlwinding off for their honey moon in the lovely region of Punta Cana , Dominican Republic.With such a bittersweet event( a mother cries and sings softly in her soul) I also have constantly had quiet whispers of truth saturating my ears like that underlying static of AM radio.
I wonder at the fact that we keep our children safe in our womb and protect them through life as best we know how.While there's a million books, a trillion passed on traditions, and probably even more advice given by well meaning,but overbearing family & freinds...something here has gotten overlooked. It's the buzz of a bee in the nearby hive,the scratching of a leaf blowing along a sidewalk, the quiver of sudden unexpected silence. It is , as i stated, quiet, and easily ignored truth.
I'm not speaking to the truth of marriage and i fear here that i have veered from the point a bit. And even though i have wed thrice, i am in no way in a position to wax poetic on the reality of planning a life together or even enduring one another.
What has spoken to me is global, and the Dominican Republic is just a trigger on a silent, but smoking gun.
I wonder , as many couples are whisked off in wedded bliss to exotic locales to relax in the sun and swoon in newlywed bliss, if many consider the probable poverty and lack of adequate resources the area outside of resort "walls" lives with each and everyday.I wonder if they know how equally important to that economy their tourism is, as well as how demeaning to local residents...who may or may not, by this constant daily way of life, have become desensitized to. Or if couples ever even get to see (or try to avoid) the standard of health in close by communitiies.
How is the water supply? what is the current local wages? How many resort workers get paid less per year than we , in the U.S. get paid in a week? And because of a lack of education, birth control, and government aid are trying to raise a family of 5, 6 or more on that wage?
I wonder, even as i understand a desire to turn a blind eye to their circumstances, so as to enjoy the "once in a lifetime" of a honeymoon, how many would take a year of their lives to live & work the other side of the equation...another once in a lifetime, and possibly a life of only time and no hope.
In the Dominican republic alone 75 % of health care expenses are paid out of pocket,only 69% of routine immunizations were funded by the government in recent years,and only 50%of pregnant
women with HIV receive antiviral meds.Tb is the highest of prevalence there in all the Americas and Malaria is the highest risk epidemic in the country, even in resort towns.HIV, pneumonia, and diarrhea are the most frequent cause of death of kids under 5.
In our country we cannot even conceive of this type of standard.
Is there something to be done? or nothing at all?
Is there just me , here, wondering at it all, paralyzed and unchanging ?or can i make a leap of faith i have been called to do for quite sometime, but have been afraid to do...because of family, because of stubborness,fear of the unknown, wanting to keep my comforts?
I have felt God leading me somewhere lo these past many years as my life changed so drastically without a pre-emptive warning.I have been in confusion, saying to myself"is that you God, or me just talking to myself?"I have found every way of reasoning how unreasonable it would be for me to dive into such a task. And yet, with every corner i turn, i find more evidence of a calling on my life.
I have spoken out loud and in prayer. I have commited to a change of ways, only to fail , only to find my old weaknesses grasping my by the ankles, pulling me down.
And in spite of so much joy, and hope, and love, and expectation for my daughter and her life ahead...that buzzing, scratching, and quivering static ne'er does cease.

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