My blog is today’s prompt! How exciting is that! I have not made use of the prompts in a while.
The name came about when I moved into the mountainous borders between Thailand and Myanmar. I was trying to find my way around living in a foreign place with foreign language, without knowing what is the right / best way to behave. I remember my first post on Storehouse, and it was about me totally missing my long distance bus in the middle of the night, without a place to stay, and of course many other anecdotal booboos that make me cry “Oh Bother!!”
It was Heaven on Earth. It was the place where I found out how a song can have such lyrics “Ooh Heaven is a place on Earth”. It was the most beautiful place in my heart, the only place where I wake up every morning feeling extreme gratitude for the beauty that God brought to this world, and I close my day every evening unwilling to retire to my room, because it was so beautiful I do not want to close my eyes. Everyday we gaze out into the mountains and exclaim, “Oh my goodness, look, it is so beautiful” and watch the different scenes of clouds – misty, thick, fluffy, covering the whole scene, drawing a beautiful line across the mountain ranges, pink ones! Orange ones! Purple ones! It was gorgeous day after day.
It was a place where I learnt (and taught) how we can live off Him alone. We lived off-grid, meaning, electricity depended on His Grace. Water, depended on His Grace too, warm water, especially. Sun powered our water pumps, our oven (we take a day to bake a slice of cake. hah!) and our water heater. Rain watered our food. Sometimes we run into a dilemma on whether to pray for rain or sun – we need rain in order to have water, but we need the sun to pump the water up to where we stay.
We reared chickens, had two dogs and a cat, and sometimes the neighbours’ piglets sauntered into our garden. We had rats and insects galore. In the evenings, the villagers carry their little mouse traps made of bamboo and tiny tin cans and make their way up the mountains to hunt.
We grew our own bananas, papayas, roselle, peanuts, rice, and many other native nuts and peas the locals eat. I was vain, I grew tomatoes, chilis, some legumes, but mostly because they look pretty and happy. It was the period of time when I went to town, see people selling papayas, and think “why the heck would people pay for papayas?”. It is the most beautiful period of my life, it showed me so much beauty in the world, it gave me the eyes to see so much beauty God bestowed upon us.
It was the time when I started praying for Peace. And know deeply how it feels like to be praying for World Peace (more than just words hanging at the tip of the tongues because it was right to say so). It was the time when I only asked for Peace at the borders, although having it throughout the world would be a huge bonus. It was the time when I wake up and meditate every morning, sometimes with a little voice that reminds me “pray for Burma”. It was also the time when I understand the meaning of Sanctuary, beyond marketing terms for luxurious retreats with spa, massage and cocktails. It was the time when I realise that just merely not having to run away from violence is a very very deeply appreciated Sanctuary. It was the time when I realised having a place to attend class is a huge luxury.
Oh, border! So much profound feelings intertwining between wistfulness and thankfulness.