Morning breaks yet again. Mornings are bright and quiet and still. I feel grawgy in the morning. The brightness often collides with my face and instead of joy like a Disney character waking up to the sunshine, I grimace and turn away from it. “Stupid sunshine!” I say aloud, as if the morning were an older sibling awakening me early on a Saturday.
The days here often greet me as if I were a child on his birthday or a woman as she prepares for her first date. Anticipation comes with my mornings in Altea.
This morning, to my surprise, I woke up with the sunlight. I half-way greeted the new day as though I were cinderella awakening to a room full of rodents and birds happily preparing my outfit. I was glad to wake up. I had fallen asleep at the second of our two homes here in Altea. So, I woke up to the sound of the sea and the sweet voices of girls bustling preparing for their days.
I was glad to wake up. I was glad to wake up because I knew I’d get to spend another day living into a new freedom, in a new place, filled with my once unfamiliar, but now familiar home.
Words which once conjured feelings of anxiety, now greet me with anticipation.
Freedom is a new rhythm for me and with it come feelings of discomfort. I feel as though I’ve moved into a new house and though it’s a beautiful house, it is new. Much like the big reveal on Extreme Makeover Home Edition, when the big bus pulls away and a whole new world is revealed, I look at my self, my understanding of self, my beliefs and ideas of identity with awe. And, at the very same time, there are also feelings of discomfort. Everything is new. Everything feels as if it could break or be taken. Everything feels like a dream. Everything feels like an invitation to trust that yes, this is from God and yes, this is good. Freedom is a new house. Freedom is my new house.
On this morning I knew freedom deep within me. I walked in it. It steadied me. It held my head high. It propelled me forward.
I walked the hundreds of stairs to my house, still wearing my yellow dress from the night before. The steps came easily to me. I walked tall. I walked free. I once again felt like a character on a movie set, as my dress flowed and my newly purchased basket purse accented my outfit with perfect Spanish style. I once wore freedom as an accessory, I now find myself living as though freedom were my backbone. It causes me to stand tall. To dance. To laugh loudly. To wear shirts with no sleeves. To greet strangers in a language I barely know. To eat new foods. To try a new language. To jump into new without fear.
This is not the case every day. Some days the newness of my freedom overwhelms me and I want to run back to the old. I want to put on that old t-shirt, only to realize I’d thrown it away the week before. But, the old no longer feels permissible or completely desirable. New is not always comfortable.
Altea, a small Spanish town, resting on the shores of the Mediterranean, has been the land on which my new home has been revealed. It’s been the place where I’ve been invited and challenged to live in this new way. It’s been filled to this point with joy and invitations to deeply trust in the one who gave me my new home. The one who has given me my freedom.
The sun invites me every morning to live in the new and today…. I chose to walk in it.