As the plane was landing this morning at 520am London time, it was 720am in Nairobi. And I thought of all the things that I knew were happening then…that I would have been up for an hour at that point…drinking coffee in bed… a shower soon…throwing my hair up in a bun…off to work…into the office.
You greet everyone. It’s just the way it goes in Kenya. Not a half-way wave as you speed by, no, no, you walk over and hug, or high five, or my favorite: the right-hand-fist-to-fist-to-heart connection. By the time I make it down to sit at my desk, 30 minutes might have gone by, but what a beautiful way. To see people.
It’s one of the many things I have learned about being human here in Kenya. I want to never again be in such a hurry that I cannot see you. I want to know that every time we see one another, that if for any reason it was the last time, there would be no confusion: we were there. If asked, I could say you were wearing your favorite blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up, I could pick out the blue from a line up of colors.
I was there. And the blue of your shirt reminded me of that time…and I would share with you what it was about that time. Because even though there was work to be done, there is always work to be done. But the days we choose to see each other: those are the best days.
My heart hurts. I know it. I can feel it. I can feel it the way a musician can play in the dark: an instrument they’ve spent each day, for so long: spending hours and hours to understand just one note. To hear it perfectly. To say, ah yes, this is what I’ve been searching for. This note. This sound.
Like a musician, I can hear my heart beat now perfectly.
The longing that I feel though is not undone though from this song that feels smooth and sweet. It cant be. This song is just too damn sweet. And so much less of a solo, then it is a band full of people singing at the top of their lungs. Off-key. False-starts. Broken Strings. Giant Smiles. All of it.
I’m a terrible singer. There’s no instrument I can play. But you just try now to stop my song: you cannot. Because I know now that when you belt it out with a group full of people: who you love, who you spent an hour the day before sharing times of when…and maybe it meant an hour less of sleep that night to make up for what needed to get done…but my bet is the lack of sleep has got nothing to do with you feeling awake. Nothing at all.
When was the last time you heard a group of people joining together to sing the contents of an email? Or the A-Z of a to-do list? It never happens. It has no soul.
Is your ‘doing’ at the sake of connecting? When was the last time you sang…
Together. Out-loud. For the cheap-seats-in-the-back kinda ambition. Go for it.