How does one say goodbye to Mother Africa, to the great, glorious edifice we call “Table Mountain,” to the crashing South Atlantic, to the place that would not let me pass into my greater future without paying the proverbial troll? Oh, the dreadful, painful lessons that Mama Africa says, in her way, are, “For you own good.”
In the countdown to my return to America after seven and a half long years here in the Jurassic beauty of this land, juxtaposed with the totally unexpected disappointment of its social structure (which, to be fair, I was well warned about but didn’t grasp until, in my still relative naiveté, I was singed by the sting of its scorpion tail – which ultimately brought me to a sort of maturity I hadn’t even realized I was lacking (but I was – so thanks, Mama Africa — mother did know best!). It was all a blessing in the end and only a place like this can pull you in and reshape you. I am endlessly grateful for the experience, even though I would never have invited it or agreed to it consciously (are you mad?!).
There are too many goodbyes to acknowledge one by one. But there are a special handful of precious souls that made the journey bearable, sane and even joyous. You know who you are.
Sometimes we have to go so far away from home to appreciate home. And boy do I now appreciate home (as well as how & why we must venture far away from home to have the opportunity to become our next level self!
My Chatham Hall friends will well recall the traditional song sung at ‘Senior Night in The Well’ — the “I’m coming back when,” song!” Well, I guess all those things have happened, cuz I’m coming back. And to quote Jon Bon Jovi, “Who says you can’t go home? There’s only one place they call you one of their own…”
But we have to go out into this big, wild world – stretch out and put our big toe in, feel into all the things that call our soul to experience LIFE!! And I did that. It wasn’t misguided. It was right on target, even if it strangled and even very nearly mangled me. But, I’ll tell you this one thing (otherwise your outcome might not be so good): be pure, keep your integrity and watch for dragons! On the old maps they used to write, in uncharted areas, “Here be dragons.”
Look, I’m an adventurous old soul and I will always take the road less traveled. But, my advice is to be ready for dragons because dragons there will be! And you’ll need to make sure that your inner fire is bigger and badder than any other fire you might be confronted with. The ONLY way to do that is to cloak yourself, saturate yourself in integrity, purify your life, raise your consciousness above the world’s and keep going when the journey is tough. Like Winston Churchill said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” That adage, among others, got me through.
And then, remember this: you will heal. You will recover your energy if you stay focused on virtuous things, if you keep “thine eye single to the light.” Stay virtuous. Stay pure. Harbor zero dysfunctional anger. Never look back. Do this in your worst situations and you will come out intact. Don’t ‘watch the clock’, per se. Just stay the course for as long as it takes and you’ll find yourself healed and free.
Thank you to all the beautiful souls I have encountered on this journey! You have touched me deeply and I wish you the greatest happiness.
It’s time now for me to go home. What is home? Home is OHM – so it’s always in the heart and soul of each of us, geography is not the measurement of it really. But, when we can couple our heart space with land and friends that bring us a sense of familiarity and support, there’s certainly nothing wrong with bolstering our lives with that if we’ve got it. And, fortunately I have.
We cannot end and begin simultaneously. We must end and then begin. So, a chapter is closed, is blessed, is over and in less than two weeks I will cross an ocean and leave Mother Africa and take all her great, valuable, cherished lessons and reconfiguring with me back OHM to a country with plenty of problems of its own…but all that notwithstanding it is where I belong.