Waking up

When I left Tanzania, one of the things I missed most was knowing if it was time to rise by the birds’ calls. The one that would normally cause me to stir meant that I had an hour left to nestle deep into my sleeping bag. And the bird who was my true wake up call would begin its tune just minutes before my classmate, Bethany, came to my tent to wish me good morning and give me a five minute warning until our shared morning prayer.

It was not the birds precisely that I longed for once residing back in the States, but rather the connection to nature.

I missed the feel of the earth on my feet, the familiarity of the sun’s arch, the visibility of the stars blanketing the heavens. Its not that I do not enjoy these things from the U.S., but my life is not in sync with them there.

Today, I am struck by the beauty of aligning my clock to Mother Earth’s, waking and sleeping with the sun’s rise and fall as I do here.

To write my blogs, I found a special place here in Nkomangwa. I leave my home and head away from the village and towards the fields, which quilt the hills and stretch towards Lake Muhazi. Just at the lake, the path veers upwards back to many homes in the neighboring community. At the peak of the hill is my sacred space: a patch of grass between the maize with a view of the glassy water below.

I come here to read and to write, to meditate and to pray. Mostly, I come to listen to the birds sing.

And I am not sure of the distinction between any of these activities, as my listening melds into my creating, my feet growing roots that reach deep into the soil of Life’s source.

Knowing the earth, intimately and tenderly, awakens a song within. On my patch of grass in the hills of Nkomangwa, I sing and I fly, joining the birds who welcome me home.

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