“I live now on borrowed time, waiting in the anteroom for the summons that will inevitably come. And then – I go on to the next thing, whatever it is. Luckily, one doesn’t have to bother about that.”
– Agatha Christie
For some reason I think that today may be the day. The red (?) blue (?) packet – it keeps changing color, according to different postings I read on the Peace Corps website –will arrive in my parents’ mailbox today. A packet of paper has been wending its way through the post office process: in a huge plastic carton leaving the Washington DC office; in a truck; a plane; a semi; in a bin waiting for sorting; into a mail pouch slung over the deliverer’s shoulder; along the suburban streets; into the black mailbox posted at the end of a cul-de-sac on the opposite side of the continent from whence it started. This packet contains the name of the country where I will be living for the next 27 months. It describes the environment that will circumscribe me –the national language, the mean temperature, the presence or absence of electricity and/or indoor plumbing, the availability of housing, the cost of living, and the components of the local diet. I will learn about the non-governmental organization to which I’ve been assigned – what city it is in, if there is any other PCV assigned there, what the mission and purpose of the organization might be, how long it’s been in existence. It is an exercise in faith and hope to deliver your life into the unknown. And it shows how far down the rabbit hole I had fallen that ambiguity is more attractive to me than the knowns of the past decade.
It’s in the anterooms of life that one makes the acquaintance of faith and hope. And, if kept waiting long enough, one can take the opportunity to become their friends. Strangely, athough I am anxious and excited to get the packet and learn the details of the next 27 months, I feel like I will be happy whatever the paper inside might say. I have allies I didn’t have before. I have the patience that being fifty brings. I can face and thrive in whatever circumstance lies outside the anteroom door.