It’s our last day in Calcutta and I can honestly say that I am sad to leave. If I had heard myself say this on the first day I arrived I might have kicked myself. Stepping into this city has challenged all 6 of my senses like never before. Yes, you heard right…I said “six senses”. I don’t see dead people, but my 6th sense being what I felt in the depth of my soul when I saw everything I had seen and experienced.
Calcutta is like no other place on Earth. My nose never got a break from its stench, I felt like I had to always look down at my every step as I never knew what I could put my foot in next, the persistent beeping of traffic was inescapable and suffocating, every time we had to cross the street I wanted to scream and hold the hands of my friends until I got to the other side. But there is something here that made me want to stay. There was a richness in this city that I felt like I have only skimmed the surface of, there is a beauty to this city that looked beyond the devastating poverty which exists at every turn. I had my first sips of authentic Indian lassi here, but I wanted badly to have more time to sit at a chai stall and talk with the locals. For a city that many foreigner at first sight would never deem as beautiful, I was starting to discover its beauty by the end of my stay.
I discovered more than the beauty of Calcutta this week. Though I’m here to help Ellie Fun Day uncover the beginnings of their journey, I have started to see my own path fall into place. It’s like reading one of J. K. Rowling’s good books (HUGE Harry Potter fan here). She has become a favorite author of mine because of the way she takes me through a story, she never wastes a character, a moment, or a single detail. Each thing is beautifully written and put into place for a reason. She always surprises me with her twists and turns and how she intricately weaves very rich stories. She slowly reveals her purpose for every person, place and thing by the end of the book. No matter how hard I try to guess, she always throws in a surprise at the end. In Calcutta I felt like I was half way through a such a good book where earlier details started falling into place and its purpose slowly being revealed, this is the part of the book you slowly find yourself edged at your seat.
I felt the presence of the Author of my life in Calcutta, it was almost as if I was watching His hand pen these pages that had incredible meaning for my past as well as my future. It felt incredible as suddenly I really sensed that nothing in my life had ever been frivolously wasted. Those years in my youth that I had hungered to be a missionary but felt like I had wandered off the path to become deep in the trenches of the design industry to loving my life as a wife and mother and now somehow finding my way back to my camera all suddenly had a significance that I still can’t seem to articulate.
In this crazy place called Calcutta where we often did not know our way, I never felt lost; a place that made me squirm with discomfort yet I felt completely in my element. I found beauty that is significant here to its people as well as to my own life. This city will be forever a significant part of my own story that is still being penned by a hand that is so much more powerful than my own. So I am excited to see how this detail gets played out in the remaining pages of my life, because for me…this is where the adventure begins.