Sometimes as I'm working here stateside something as simple as a sound or brief glance at pair of shoes or the way someone pronounces a word will take me back to a memory of life there and cause a deep aching down in the pits of my stomach. Such recollections are the secret places my mind wanders to when there are no other thoughts to entertain. They are the memories stowed away that only one who has traveled to such a land will ever be able to relate and recite alongside.
It makes for an often lonely road of great missings. No one to laugh at the peculiarities, to remember the sounds of the chickens flying down from their coops in the morning, how everyone greets one another from shops and homes and road side wanderings. How there is no stranger among one another, how the language sounds like a song being sung in a key I've never heard but am beautifully drawn to. Oh, the smiling faces, warm greetings, glorious friendships and bright burning sun! I miss the mornings in my hammock before the rays became too hot to enjoy the company of a book or the way our house flooded with people from sun up to sun down and how I rode my trusty motorcycle to what sometimes felt like the ends of the earth. I miss the toil and hardship, the reward and long sigh that comes at the end of a well earned day.
How I long to be asked just one more question about what mystery lies beyond these oceans. One more chance to recite a story or to simply lay out the exotic monotony of our days there together. Sometimes I feel this great pull within myself to always remember and not forget. But how does one continue to relive memories that no one else around can understand and that no one else has seen or heard? It's the tension I long to find rest in.
There is one thought that offers me abounding hope and joy in the midst of the longing. Soon enough a piece of my world will be crossing oceans to meet me here in this strange, foreign land. A daily reminder of the sound, life, beauty and joy of our existence in the pearl of Africa. A reminder that nothing real can be threatened or forgotten. And though our feet are far from reaching those dusty red shores, our hearts together can leap to lands beyond.
Oh, how I've waited for you, my love. To remember together, at last.