another late night biking adventure trying to avoid the crushing heat of the day led me to a dark street where i could mo’ bettah see the stars. i laid mr bike down upon the grasses beside the sidewalk and laid myself down likewise. jon foreman sang to me and the gleaming lights above fought against the nearby city brightness. it was a good moment, only occasionally hindered by a passing car and their headlights. and once the headlights came and they stayed. mildly annoying. i thought it strange the car would stay so long. i took the headphones out to listen and hear a man asking if i am ok. i call out yes i am. they continue to ask, and realizing they can’t hear me over their still-running suv i hold my hand up into their lights with the ok symbol. but a dude comes over, stands above me. he is on the phone and acts me directly if i am ok. i laugh, answer the affirmative. he talks into the phone, obviously a 911 call, saying that i say i am ok. he called it in! saw some dude lying still beside a toppled bike and called it in! i guess that makes sense. kinda weird though. they drove on and i rejoined the stars in space.
almost cool weather has visited us. a couple nights this last week i sat outside reading and almost wanted a sweatshirt. i rode the old bike for a few miles and hardly broke a sweat. is summer slowly winding down? you ever feel defeated by the reality of summer when you realize that the longest day of the year is in mid june? the rest of the summer seems like it is just waiting for the end.
steph is back from adventures in tennessee. now she begins the continuing excitement of wedding planning with the added bonus of jumping back and forth occasionally between the wedding venue area and me down here in urbana. what fun!
i moved i to my secret lair, i mean, new (to me) apartment yesterday. josh and the family were off on family adventures so i grabbed everything myself, which wasn’t the worst of things. all in all i had a suitcase of my clothes, a box filled mainly with food that steph gave me upon her return from nashville and other random knick-knacks, a duffel bag packed entirely of books, and a lamp. tie the mattress i have been sleeping on to the top of the car and stuff the back seat with the arm chair i got from work and i made the move in one trip. i live now on the first floor so no gut-busting was required lifting annoyingly shaped things up stairs. i then went out and spent a sizeable chunk of change gathering needed items for such activities as eating, dropped the car back of at josh’s, and rode my bike to what will become my new home for a while. and yes it is extremely empty but for a mattress, a chair, and a large pile of books.
the bizarre part for me is that this is going to be my place of residence, my home base, my headquarters for the next year. i haven’t lived in one place for a year since my senior year of college. after finishing school in washington i moved here then to camp then to home for a bit then to rome then washington then here. not to mention the little trips here and there in that time (i have flown on a stupid amount of planes recently). this stretch from febuary to now is the longest i have stayed in one place for two years. this is a strange thing for me to comprehend. but i get to stay here for a while because i signed a year-long lease. that means i am actually committing to living in central illinois for at least that much longer. after so long of little chunks of time spent in many different places a year in one location hardly makes sense to me. guess we’ll see how that goes. better get used to it.
and until that one girl moves in late september, i get to live off rice and beans and pasta and live by myself in an almost empty apartment. slowly i will accumulate furniture and other random items and wait for the day when hopefully people buy a bunch of household goods for us on our wedding day. then it won’t be quite so strange there. because she will come too.
she and i both feel a pretty strong pull towards some sort of missional adventures in farther reaches of the world, if you haven’t already deduced from earlier posts. in fact i am sure i have said as much previously. well this has consumed me anew. i am having one of those times where i can’t stop thinking about a particular thing and it starts to distract me from other pursuits, like holding conversations with people and doing work. this time it is africa. i can’t get it out of my head. i am doing research, reading books, watching movies, listening to music (check out:http://www.myspace.com/emmanueljal), reading up on missionary activities all over and especially in uganda. it’s almost a problem. all i want to do is sit in my old-man armchair in my empty room and read the fate of africa. it’s wonderful, heart-breaking, inspiring, captivating work. and i want more of it. i want to learn everything, immerse myself in the thousands of different cultures and peoples, times, places, climates, city, bush, mountain, desert, everything. i want to go badly and feel a constant, creeping antsy-ness. i don’t really know where this came from and why now, but africa has been in the back of my mind for years now. i guess it was time for the continent to become more than a thought and a distant hope to me. so sorry if i seem distracted in everyday activities. i am probably thinking about africa.