Return to Winter

Yesterday’s euphoria about completed re-roofing jobs and signs of spring was nice while it lasted. We have returned to winter, to a dark, stormy northwest day, which today includes snow mixed with the rain. The quiet, though, is lovely, and I am once again captured by Out of Africa and am enjoying Isak Dinesen’s descriptions of that Africa of long ago. A particular phrase caught my fancy this morning, so I’m including it here with the rest of the paragraph that lead up to it.

I rode into the Masai Reserve…the descent was stony, and the slope up the other side very steep, but “once in,–how the delighted spirit pants for joy.”
Here lay before you a hundred miles’ gallop over grass and open undulating land; there was not a fence nor a ditch, and no road. There was no human habitation except the Masai villages, and those were deserted half the year, when the great wanderers took themselves and their herds off to other pastures. There were low thorn trees regularly spread over the plain, and long deep valleys with dry riverbeds of big flat stones, where you had to find a deer-path here and there to take you across. After a little while you became aware of how still it was out here. Now, looking back on my life in Africa, I feel that it might altogether be described as the existence of a person who had come from a rushed and noisy world, into a still country.

As I watch the snow/rain falling outside my window, while enjoying the warmth of Dinesen’s Africa inside in the quiet, I realize that she has described what is happening to me here at home during this Leave of Absence from work. I, too, have come from a rushed and noisy world, into a still country…much to the delight of my spirit.

The Ngong Hills.

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