A few weeks ago, I was skyping with my 3 yo niece, Lucy, when we started to discuss where, exactly, I am. I told her how I had take a long plane ride, and was now on the other side of the world. This sparked a bit of interest in her, and reminded her of her recent trip to London, England. I thought this was a good sign, and now we’d be able to discuss being in places that are not our home. Not so much.
Instead, Lucy launched into a spirited tale about the plane ride. I asked her about staying at a bed and breakfast, being with her great-grandparents, riding a bus and a train, but she was undeterred. All she could talk about was the delay over there, staying in the airport and not sleeping, and the plane ride.
“Yeah, Meggie, and one time it was dark and I looked all around and everybody was sleeping. But I was awake, I didn’t sleep. So Daddy let me watch a movie on the laptop. I watched a movie while everybody was sleeping. And one time I looked outside the window, and there were clouds on the ground.”
“Lucy, that’s because you were up in the sky. You were above the clouds.”
“Yeah, so we were there in the night and the clouds were on the floor. That’s when I was at England.”
The thing that’s stuck in my mind about this was that, no matter what I said, all she could focus on were the clouds on the floor. In her memory, being in another country was unimportant. There were clouds on the floor, and she watched a movie while everybody else slept.
Sometimes I’m like this. I know what strange food is like, and exhaustion and weariness, those negative things I can find a place for in my mind. I get overwhelmed with the good things, too, and forget to tell you about the highlights of Thai culture. I haven’t told you about sharing food everyday, or my Thai Angels…because I’m distracted by everything else around me.
Like clouds on the floor.