Monday, April 6, 2009

Ants in Her Pants

From the ridiculous to the sublime...

It wasn't exactly the highlight of our Palm Sunday trip to Rondo Retreat in the Kakamega Rain Forest, but housemate Amanda's brief (no pun intended) encounter with voracious safari ants was certainly memorable. Our veteran guide was pointing out the ants' determined trail on the earth beneath us, explaining their innate ability to rapidly ascend a tree, a human leg, or whatever else happened to cross their paths, when we were suddenly alarmed by two yelps in a row. Amanda raced past us to the nearby Yala River and stripped to her skivvies, flailing as she fled. (She very wisely averted diving in; schistosomiasis would have been worse.)

Prior to that misadventure, all four of us had thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the birds and beetles, flowers and trees, butterflies and three varieties of chattering monkeys in Kenya's precious rain forest -- only 10% of which remains, after years of human encroachment and recent global warming. Two of us had also happily ascended Lirhanda Hill at 5:30 AM (and alarmed hundreds of swarming fruit bats when we explored their secluded cave, en route). At the summit, we watched in silent wonder as the sun rose over the Nandi escarpments and tea plantations to the east. Mt. Elgon loomed on the horizon to the north, Uganda in the distance to the west, Lake Victoria and the hills of home/Maseno to the south. Wisps of ground fog looked like rivers of holy water meandering through the deep green canopy below. We basked in the color-streaked skies above and prayed with gratitude in God's own cathedral.

I was reminded of an equally-moving sunrise service years ago at a Dominican convent. And I remembered the late Dean Frank Sayre, commenting after his retirement from the National Cathedral: "God knows I am worshiping in His church when I am surf casting on Martha's Vineyard." I think God also knew we were worshiping in Her church when we were walking in Kakamega Forest. May the blessings of this Holy Week be reminders for us all to breathe deeply, love unconditionally and become (misadventures included) everything God wants us to be.

P.S. Amanda is fine!

1 comment:

Nadia.. said...

Hey sista Dianne... your blog as usual evoked abundance of emotions within me (usually nostalgia and sadness) but this one has me in stitches! It sounds even more breath taking than the very hill at the back of your home in Maseno. Trusting that when i return, u'll be my guide (and would have learn't from Amanda's experience as what to wear!) Lol!
B blessed my dear