Part of the reason for coming to Africa and leaving all the secure and seductive trappings of life back home – even if only temporarily – was to buy some time from incessant busyness and tiring obligations, take a breather, and approach life with a new level of calm and acceptance.
As anything in life, it’s turned our rather harder than the deceptive simplicity of ‘taking it easy’ implies. Although our mornings are lazy, our days just busy enough to stay challenged and engaged but not to get stressed, time still flies and the mind wanders. As we pine for a holiday or plan our next restaurant outing, something within scrambles for a plan to anchor time without really, truly appreciating the here and the now. Even in strange, alien Moshi the hypnotic lull of routines, peppered with the incessant need to plan the future, can prove irresistible.
Time may be on our side, but it isn’t always so easy to realize, to really understand that the experience is right here and right now. These wonderful, inspiring kids that we have the privilege to hang out with will soon be just another distant memory; this whole experience will fade into the past, occasionally revisited with the help of pictures and funny anecdotes… Not doing our best to appreciate it right now would be a huge disservice to us and unfair to everyone around. But it’s so much easier said than done.
We need to remind ourselves every day that this is a rare and unique experience, and to put that over the sometimes tempting thought that “I’ve had enough, I’m exhausted”. To really savor the time we have left, to appreciate everything that we have experienced – the highs, the lows and everything in between – we need to find a way to plant these feet in this very moment more firmly, and not let them always look for the next exciting step. Life shouldn’t just be about excitement and making plans; this experience, this slow and beautiful continent has taught us as much. Africans are probably the best in the world at living in the now, and as long as you make it to the next day – God willing, as they like to say here – there is nothing to worry about, nothing to hurry for. There is just this beautiful life.
Maybe the solution lies in a little meditation session every day (something I agree with in theory but have found hard to put in practice in the past – B’s been a lot better with this), a few more sessions of sunrise runs, a cold drink at sundown after work, a lazy, lingering minute waiting for the taxi to pick us up in the morning – little moments that should be insignificant but really aren’t. They are the stuff of life and I don’t want to forget that.
Sending lots of love your way,