Last night I took a walk along the road behind my home.  There are many cafes along that road, but one I found on my first day here; that one I particularly enjoy.  Last night the owner was explaining to me how to say good evening.  “Mirëmbrëma,” he said.  “Mear brehma,” I struggled back.  “Mirëmbrëma,” he repeated patiently as I leaned my ear toward his mouth as he spoke.  I find it difficult to catch the subtleties of pronunciation here.  “Mere im brama,” I concluded.  He tilted his head slightly, tipped up his right hand open palmed from his side and said in Italian “Buonanote,” with a smile.  “Grazie,” I replied with a smile as I turned to go.  I suppose him thinking that I am an Italian isn’t the worst thing in the world.

En route to this cafe I encountered a number of sights.  A group of children running across the road to jump off the berm into tall grass from three feet up; a pair of women with a stroller standing by.  Olive treas (ullinj) along the road catching the light of a long-setting sun.  Ten young men with three crop-eared pit-bulls walking up the middle of the road; invincible.  A white capped person in a brown robe sitting alone just above the slope to the lake below.  My own 100 foot shadow staggering in height beside me.  A goat and two kids harassing a sapling.  It brought to mind the extraordinary nature of the places we humans choose to live.  There is no limit to what could be done here in Sauk, or an hour away in Fushe-Kruje, just down the road in Tirana, or further away still in Kruje.  God has a clean canvass in Albania; a canvass of finely woven, sometimes course thread.  Threads don’t choose to be of silk, jute, or sisal; God chooses that.  And He has a purpose for them all.