There are times when I have thought about moments suspended in the future for so long that it feels the future will never arrive, let alone pass! But, this incredible time at home (20 days!) which I day-dreamed about and planned over many weeks before, has at last come to an end. I didn’t quite expect to fall in love with home so much and so quickly all again. But really what it was was a hyperactive break completely filled with people I love and know so well. What a happy time it has been.
Strange feelings definitely fill my mind on this last night in my home. It’s sort of like reliving the night before I left for Tanzania last august. I feel like I should be afraid and nervous like I was five months ago, but then I get to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I have friends, a wonderful job, a familiarity and love for Arusha… a home waiting for me when I get back to Tanzania day after tomorrow. But, still, it’s becoming more and more clear to me how important family is. I missed my father terribly this winter because he’s in Rio and I didn’t get to give him a big hug on Christmas. I wish I could have spent another month up in Knoxville with my crazy wonderful family, and another month here at home with my mom.
Or rather, I wish I could take them all with me to Tanzania. My biggest fear is that I’ll forever feel like I’m always saying ‘bye’ to the people I love. Bye to the people I love in TZ; bye to the people I love in USA. Such is the fate of someone who makes the world their home, I suppose.
I visited my dad’s house yesterday, which is currently being rented by a lovely young couple until dad can sell it (since he’s living abroad now also). It was very surreal being back there. I knocked on the front door window in the same way I used to always knock on it when I’d come over to the house to let my dad know it's me who's home! My piano’s still there, fortunately being played and loved. My room still has the paint on the walls of the colorful fish my dad and I painted together when I told him I wanted an “underwater room.” My tree house that my dad and I built together, the marble flooring in the front of the house that we installed in the frigid fall, the tree I used to climb with him… there are so so many memories there and it’s only just now hitting me that he’s so far, and that I’m so far—from my mom, from my family, from my childhood. It’s hard coming to terms with it, but it’s making me grow up and it’s making me appreciate it more than ever before. Never will I be able to really thank my parents for the incredible childhood they gave me.
My dear friend Wendy gave me a CD of great music for Christmas and one of the songs on it is called “Wake Up Danny Boy” – ok, yes, it is about a Danny Boy, but the words speak strongly to me and they give me, Dani Girl, a lot of encouragement. Part of it goes:
Wake up Danny boy!
There’s a world outside
A world outside, a world outside
Wake up Danny boy!
There’s a world outside, a world outside
You can’t foce change, or change the path
You just have to walk home
And through the woods at night
With red wolves glacially slow
No one sees me moving but you
So long my friends!
I think it’s time you try again
To wake up!
It’s true. I feel that I need to wake up and realize what incredible beauty I’m getting to experience outside the window of my home and at times, outside the window of my comfort zone.
Another one of this band’s songs that gets to me goes:
I’m feeling Rootless
In my wandering mind
Time is moving, it’s moving
I was so thankful to get to see my friends Wendy, Paul, and Martha- people who will never stop being beautiful and faithful friends. It was incredibly wonderful to get to stay with Matt and Lindsay in Nashville- ahh they make Nashville a real home, truly.
And then my dearest wifey, Meeshee who finally came and stayed with me in Atlanta- who bought me the coolest pony t-shirt EVER haha!!
Then there’s my core group of friends from high school: Zach, Greg, Peanut, Ankit, Chris, Joshy! It just means to get to grow up with such a fantastic group of people.
And my forever-highschool-sweetheart, Andrew who continues to crack me up and make me smile each time I see him.
What would I do without all of these people?
I guess, as I prepare to embark on another exhilarating adventure in Tanzania, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has ever shown me, my family, my pets, my friends love.
... And the more I think about it, the more I sure do miss those Tanzanian smiles :) So, away we go!!