Sunday, April 10, 2011

GUATEMALA 2010-A Toothbrush In Time

I placed the lever in Park, pressed down the emergency brake with my foot, turned off the key and sighed.  We survived my driving through Guatemala City and the outlying roads.  Our team lugged our gear down the path, across the ledge, and down into what will become a two-room home for a mother and her two sons.  For now it is our rain-drenched, angry ant crawling, and absolutely wonderful workspace.
The bandana was already damp on my forehead as I kneeled down to spread my first trowel of mortar.  As I looked up the face of the surface of the dirt-hewn wall I began to closely look at the layers of debris that had been pressed into the ground over the years. I saw a familiar shaped handle and freed the toothbrush from the rubble.
As I held the toothbrush in my torn gloves, I took an intentional look at the cross-section of soil.  Time had hidden away pieces of cloth, discarded food wrappers, bits of metal, wood, wire, all items that had once served a specific purpose, been spent, and forgotten.
So many things that once seemed so vital were now simply garbage.
So much of what we do will be lost under the rubble of time…nothing more than the toothbrushes in the dirt wall of tomorrow.
I dropped the toothbrush into the recess of a cinder block and sealed it off with a fresh trowel of mortar.  My mind moved through the coming years as I envisioned the memories that would be formed inside of this house.
My mind locked on the following thought: what will my life leave buried in the layers of time?  Will my time here be a wall of garbage, or a foundation of hope?
Both can occupy the same space.

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