Landing Back In the Tale

"....We shouldn't be here at all, if we'd known more about it before we started. But I suppose it's often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually- their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. ....I wonder what sort of tale we've fallen into?" (LOTR, The Two Towers, Sam to Frodo)

For a long time I felt like I had lost the plot of my story. But recently it's been coming back to me. And now I feel like my feet are finally on a path I can see again.

Nine years after coming off the full-time mission field, I'm back. Seventeen years after retiring from full-time midwifery practice, I'm back. Last month I became a full time staff member of BESTWA- Building Economic Success Together in West Africa- as clinic director. My first assignment is to get a birthing clinic up and running in Liberia. While it's being built, I'm brushing up on my midwifery skills with a three week internship with African Birth Collective in Senegal later this month.

That all sounds pretty amazing, and it is. But today, my first day home after resigning from my previous job at a library, was spent mostly in my apartment with my kids, homeschooling, doing laundry and cleaning. We did go out in the afternoon to buy my son Daniel the hermit crabs he's been saving up for. He named them Merry and Pippin, and they are at this very moment in a mini aquarium on the dining table. The last load of laundry just went into the washer. And the kids begged to stay up late watching Lord of the Rings- again- so the sounds of Sam killing the Orcs punctuate my blog writing.

I don't mind. I appreciate the inspiration. If a simple Hobbit from the Shire can kill Orcs, and walk into Mordor and save Middle Earth, a single-mom with three kids can be a full time missionary midwife on 100% support.

I'm like Merry. "I know I can't save Middle Earth. I just want to help my friends."


  1. This is a neat blog, Xan! Looking forward to getting a peek into your life and adventures...:D


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