Originally me expressing how I’d felt about witnessing the Mercy Shippers (of course – no experience nor cohort is the same, and also it wasn’t perfect of course – I don’t to give any false impressions or expectations. In the end we are all just people, and there are many just as wonderful people at home) – the below also applies to other showers of shooting stars /people I’ve watched (also pre-ship Soul Snapshots).
‘I feel like a tiny dot perched on the face of a large expanse of Earth.
This expanse is dark, a gently curved floor to miles of empty space. If you are quiet, you can hear a consistent sound, like the low rumbling of a giant’s belly. I am alone. It is October 2014.
Suddenly, a family of twinkles appear in the East! At first no more than tentative splatters of gold, they begin their westward dance across the sky, getting steadily closer, brighter, larger, faster, hotter, some so hot that they burn my eyes, their light illuminating the dark disgusting animals hiding in my shadowy corners, their very heat burning them into nothing. In the charcoal left behind, baby flames lick into life.
And when they are a stretch of fiery glitter suspended in the heights above me, they pause. They colour my world.
And I marvel.
This continues for 9 months. 9 months of death, birth and growth.
And then, as smoothly as they came, they depart.
Little brilliances streaking away. It is still again. I am alone again. But there is a new sound. Even if you are not quiet, you can hear it.
It is my soul singing – there is no way it can’t.
Enveloped in the smoky pillow of smell that results when filth is evaporated, slowly clearing away to reveal air dressed in a delicate, see-through dress, I watch the dots get tinier and tinier. I am refreshed, and I realise,
I am not alone.
The expanse is sighing with the breath of a holy spirit, the air is heavy with fullness, my heart is hurting with joy.
All I can think about is how grateful I am.
How grateful to have been handed this privilege. This awesome, stunning privilege of witnessing this shower of greatness. This shower of Mercy Ships souls.
My shower of shooting stars.’
Lived with (= shared not only my food but also my time, heart, stars* and secrets with, embarked on grand adventures but also sat in still, small, sweet minutes with, have experienced mind-expanding revelations about God, life, others and myself with, became a better a person with, cried, laughed, danced and dissolved in music with … built HOME with) when I was a writer on the communications team aboard the Africa Mercy, a hospital ship serving in Madagascar, from October 2014 – June 2015.