A Moment of Peace

View of Port-au-Prince the from Schandorff's balcony

View of Port-au-Prince from the Schandorff’s balcony

Dogs howl from behind tall walls as children traipse down the street. Motorcycle taxis roar their way to the school gate, where they screech to a stop. The children call to one another as they walk, skip and run down the dirt and gravel road, and cars honk to alert the young ones to part so they can ease through the crowd. It is 7:45 a.m.

As parents yell good-bye to their children and school staff welcome the last few stragglers to school, I watch and listen to the daily parade from my balcony, two stories above street-level.

Soon, the gate is closed and the chanting of the students practicing their lessons begins.

Haitian schoolchildren on their way to school

Haitian schoolchildren on their way to school

The noise is lessened now and I notice the rooster crowing (does he ever stop?) and birds chirping. A neighbor is chopping down a tree with slow thumps of his machete and my house helper sweeps up the leaves in our concrete carport with his corn husk broom. Despite a brief sneezing fit (from all of the dust that was kicked up in the street? or was it from the smoke from the trash burning a couple of houses down?), I enjoy a few moments of “quiet” before I need to go inside and begin my own day of school, homeschooling my sons.

In the quiet, I ponder that although I sense the Lord’s presence most in tranquil, still, serene places, I have learned to find Him in the bustling, noisy, dirty city, too. He is in the giggles of the schoolchildren, the care of the parents who walk with their kids to school, the dignity of the school staff. He is in the breeze blowing across the balcony, the birds cheeping, the abundance of fruits on my neighbor’s trees, and yes, even the rooster crowing! I thank the Lord for being ever-present in every setting and head inside to start my day.

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