That was the smell that met my nostrils as I struggled to push open my warped apartment door. I chirped, “hello house,” like I do each time I enter, appreciating this place, refuge, home.
The night was dark and chilly as I walked my two pre-teen friends home. I don’t want to mention their names to keep them safe, but I adore them. We’re all American and once a month or so they come over to my apartment. We eat fun snacks and watch movies. Through them I am learning about movie ratings. I am quick to yell out, “LOOK AWAY GUYS!” if PG13 proves a bit too scandalous. Then they dutifully whip their heads to the side and protect themselves from seeing anything further by using their hands to cover their eyes. They are awesome. We are getting REALLY good at making popcorn together by heating olive oil in a pan then dumping un-popped popcorn kernels into the hot oil. I’m not burning myself or the popcorn nearly as much!
Have you ever put parmesan cheese on your popcorn? I hadn’t done this before and these two introduced this technique to me. Let me just go ahead and tell you that when you sprinkle your popped popcorn with parmesan cheese, you are in for a treat.
These smells, popcorn and nail polish, might not be thought of as pleasant. Surely no one has made a candle with these scents before. But for me? They make me smile. You see, I’m making memories. I’m making memories with the people I care about. And that’s important. Popcorn and nail polish smells remind me of my preteen days and I’m just plain old lucky to get to be a part of someone else’s preteen days.
This almost year has been spent with me wondering how I fit into this diverse community of which I am a part. It’s only been recently and as I prepare to return to the USA, that I realize the question of fit was never really the question. The question is, “Will you dare to love?”
I continue to learn about what loving a person really looks like, and God keeps teaching me about love.