Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Long Goodbye

The first day of the rest of my life began at dawn in Nairobi after a long and blessedly uneventful trip. Actually, the bus never showed up in Woods Hole two days ago, but that was a minor problem. "Always we begin again..." (Thank you, St. Benedict.)

Kitchen staff members were up early today at the ACK Guest House, singing familiar hymns in Kiswahili as they chopped omelet vegetables into bite-sized bits. The jacaranda trees are in glorious lavender bloom. The people and the weather here are as sunny and warm as I remember -- and as sunny and warm as the people and the weather that I just left on Martha's Vineyard! I will feel forever grateful to be at home in both places.

This is a poignant visit to Kenya, however, since it is probably my last. My body is feeling its age, and shoulder surgery is pending in December, with months of PT to follow. It is the beginning of my own little long goodbye.

A beloved friend recently shared the words of her late parish priest, Father Gerry Barry. In response to the ever-present question, "What are we doing here on this earth?" he responded, "We are all walking each other home."

And so, dear family and friends on both sides of the pond, let us "begin again" to walk one another home -- here, in our flip-flops, there in your Rockports. With great love.