I’m returning to the states soon.
It’s strange really to imagine a reality with running hot water, electricity, almost everyone I know owning a car, having access to a car myself, NOT tucking myself in with a mosquito net everynight, 24 hour grocery stores, television, over stimulation of advertising, consumerism in general, NOT greeting everyone you see and asking the where they are going? How is home? And where do they pray?, exposing my knees without a bat of an eye, talking with a man and not starting a wildfire of a rumor, being out at night, going out for a glass of wine (actually drinking wine for that matter of fact), not seeing police road blocks every few miles, not having strangers call “madam madam come here I have something to discuss” as I walk down the street (I guess you could say the reality of anti-social America), going to buy something and NOT bartering the price, not looking out and seeing beautiful unharmed undeveloped nature for as far as the eye can see, feeling the cycle of the moon shine down on me, falling asleep to the silence of nature, waking up to start a fire, cooking over fire, things just falling into place when you've given up all hope, so so much. Yet even stranger would be to try and imagine my life without Malawi, without these months forced to face myself. I was doing a yoga podcast today and the instructor said “It’s okay to feel uncomfortable holding a position actually it’s great to feel fidgety because that is just when yoga begins. You are forced to focus on your breath, let go of something, and just be” Malawi has made me uncomfortable and fidgety – but from that focus on being.
The power in this process has been acknowledging these sentiments, feeling them, and the letting them go. It’s time to for me to let go and keep moving forward.
Yet still I think - how am I going to leave this reality and reenter the reality of America, how am I going to carry Malawi with me while not holding on to it? What do I want to bring with me? What has this moment shown me…
I want to live seasonally. Malawi has shown me in such a forceful raw way how to live off the land.
I want to live in nature. Living on top of this hill with the most breathtaking view feeling the sun and the moon touch me everyday fills my soul like I’ve never felt before.
I want to surround myself with open and authentic people. Malawi has shown me that making myself vulnerable exposes the truth of people. By opening myself up I can connect with those who are at the place to connect with me. That is a beautiful thing.
I want to nurture my spiritual self. Having time and peace in Malawi I have given time to my mornings to read and meditate, practice my yoga, align myself and reflect before starting a day and before ending it.
I want to “feel free” and “enjoy” life. Malawians love reminding you to “feel free” in any situation – at first I just thought it was strange English but through these short months I have found the power in feeling free, to be, be present, be open enjoying every moment no matter what it brings.
I want to use my voice. I have a problem setting boundaries and committing which has lead me to be called “a flake” at time and do things my heart wasn’t into. I want to be intentional and authentic with my voice and words. I want to listen to myself and wait to say yes or no.
But leave it to Michael Franti to say it just right…
“Be who you are nothing more nothing less. Let the beauty that you love be the very best. Sing praises to the highest with your feet on the ground and reach to your brother with the words that you sounds. Don’t let your mistakes be so monumental. Don’t let your love be so confidential. Don’t let your mind be so darn judgmental. And please let your heart be more influential. Be thankful for all that the spirit provides and be thankful for all that you see without eyes.”