“I loved my mother and father, not because they were perfect parents, but because despite whatever lenses they saw the world through, they held me in the deepest part of their hearts.” They struggled, with much effort, in extremely difficult circumstances, to give me the best of what they had materially, spiritually and intellectually. I certainly didn’t understand this on too many occasions as I was growing up and moving into my own adulthood, but now I see more clearly as I push toward 70 years. And yes, I am laughing out loud as I write this now!
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; as I became an adult I did away with childish things bit by bit, day by day, year by year with each learning experience. Before, I was looking through the innocent and often arrogant lens of my youth. There was much I couldn’t see or understand. Yet I protested, rebelled or ignored in defiance. I watched, listened, studied, experimented and experienced; yet I see now that I only knew fragments of this and that and somehow survived all the violence, insanity, danger and foolishness of this world. Now I know that there was much that I did not know or understand.
Connecting the dots, the reality of this life comes more clearly into view for me now. I am humbled and thankful for my parents’ love that has allowed me to stumble closer toward understanding the oneness of this existence. Their love protected and empowered me through doubt and danger. I don’t know much, but it seems to me that what makes much of this life so painful is also the need to hear that sacred voice that tells you who you really are, while the “best wisdom” of the world insists upon your natural roundness fitting into the squares of manufactured society, nation, dogma and fear. It certainly takes something more than courage to breathe and be here, feet on the ground.
As I stand on African soil, I listen to the wind moving through the grasses and leaves. Looking up, the expansiveness of the night sky amazes me! I feel I can trust these sounds and sights not to lie to my open heart.
I would like to express my heart-felt gratitude to men, women and youth who have opened their homes and hearts to me in Ethiopia and Egypt. I am not even close to digesting it all or being able to make sense of it all for myself or you. I am full! This journey has been a sacred gift I take back to Turtle Island to share with family, friends and strangers alike. I feel empowered to be more engaged with people from all communities there who care about the Earth and the integrity of all the truly authentic nations: animal, vegetable and mineral. May there be peace and love and celebration throughout all of Creation…
All my relations.