I am coming up on my 3-year anniversary of arriving in Madagascar. March 10, 2015 I first stepped on Malagasy soil and breathed Malagasy air. Three years ago my head was spinning and my heart spent its days vacillating between pounding in my chest and slipping to the pit of my stomach. What did I say I would do? And who did I think I was? Over and over I asked as I traveled around from city to city meeting person upon person all while never knowing completely what I was doing or even where I was.
How funny to look back from a position of knowing what I couldn’t have known I didn’t.
Since the New Year I have been able to visit all nine of the volunteers at their sites. During this set of visits something shifted drastically from previous visits at many of the sites. I’ve always enjoyed visiting, I’m too social of a person not to, but the tenor and tone changed from business and colleague to collaborator and friend. Was it me? Was it them? Is it we?
I feel one of the lessons life is repeatedly trying to teach me … and maybe you have this one figured out already? … but life keeps trying to teach me that everything takes longer than you think it will… relationships, projects, travel, settling in a new home and in a new community, getting comfortable with a new job…it always takes. so. long. I fight that reality over and over, when will I just accept that time is so often the only thing that’s needed.
How can I get to know someone if I don’t spend time with them? How can I learn a new skill if I don’t give the practice enough time? How can I heal and be able to say good bye? Time, it’s always time.
Not always a quantity of time, but definitely a quality of time.
Something awoken in me not that long ago about this and my own need to continue to lean in. To press forward. To give love and friendship, to trust and stay open for the most positive and promising of outcomes … in my work, my life and in my relationships.
Not stepping away from the hard stuff or the difficulties of life either but leaning in to all. of. it.
And not blindly, or naively, but boldly and confidently and taking moments as particular and precious. Regarding them as specific and real, not judging or qualifying them. Just taking them for what they are, with and from the beautiful people who share them with me.
And maybe this is just an over flow of positive energy and recent conversations, but I’ll take it and I’ll keep moving with it.
Maybe you’ll take it and move with me too…
Moments of friends and love these past couple months.