Way Up High

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,

There’s a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby.

A Guatemalan Rainbow

A Guatemalan Rainbow

In the memorable words of song lyricist, Yip Harburg (music by Harold Arlen), Fr. John and I find ourselves living “over the rainbow.”  The location of our Guatemalan seminary and sewing center is 7,120 feet above sea level on a mountain overlooking the city of Huehuetenango.  We can actually see over the rainbow.  Could there be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow?  Maybe.  It ended in the commercial district of the city.  A pot of gold would certainly fill a lot of our needs here.

When thinking of a third-world country in the mission field, one’s thoughts usually focus on the poverty, deficiencies, and needs.  There is a lot more to consider than that.  God made a beautiful world.  We have only to look around us.  Guatemala is a country that can break your heart with its suffering in one moment and then take your breath away with its beauty in the next.  Each time I travel there, I am stunned by this dichotomy.

Our view from the mountain - Way Up High

The aerial approach to Guatemala is always spectacular.  Lush, verdant valleys are ringed by volcanic peaks that reach skyward with a welcoming embrace.  Glittering waterways and lakes sparkle in the sun like jewels.  Agricultural geometry measures out the countryside, while shimmering specks grow into shapes that grow into buildings as the plane descends to earth.

Here are some images of the Guatemala that warms my heart with its beauty:

Bananas - Way Up High

Banana Tree

Peacocks Way Up High

Proud Peacocks

Flower Tree - Way Up High

Beautiful Trees

And yet, in this land of great beauty, troubles do not “melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops.”  Things can get frustrating when good plans fall apart, schedules don’t come off on time, and nothing works as it should.  I must confess to being an imperfect human who, in her mission work, suffers bouts of frustration, anger, and loss of hope.  It is at these times that contemplating the beauty of God’s creation all around me gives me solace.  It is at these times that I need to place my thoughts much higher than any earthly rainbow.

Somewhere (way) over the rainbow, skies are blue,

And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.

There is a Greek saying that expresses a wish that one will achieve a “good Paradise.”  That is my dream for you, Dear Friends.  When earthly rainbows and paradises are not enough, may you have a καλό παράδεισο (good Paradise).

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