Thursday, December 04, 2008
The Road to Voi
Development is a rocky, rocky road.
After my initial introduction to Kenya, via the warmth of faces and the service providers at the Airport, Taxi, and Hotel, my next impression of this country has been formed by the road to Voi, Kenya.
Weathering the exhaustion of "going, going, going" is one thing, as so much joy accompanies the movement. Weathering the affects of navigating rough roads, is another kind of learning curve my body and spirit are registering, for sure. And this road to Voi, Kenya, where I am volunteering this week, is a powerful teacher.
I sit in the bus, three seats from the back end, next to the window, accompanied by my host, Patrick Kilonzo. And I try to relax. I close my eyes. I shut out the dust pouring in and sunshine beating down, and just feel my way over this landscape. The road from Nairobi to Voi is under construction. Three hours of this six-hour trek will be over the rocky, pot-holed marked surface that is the under-construction path. Our bus rocks back and forth, bounces up and down, and my body shifts with each and every jolt - in and out of forward motion. The red earth pours in the through the open windows and my linen pants and white shirt are marked by this dusty air. And I know: I will keep my eyes closed. I will simply register what development FEELS like.
I think to myself, "This road will be lovely, smooth when done, but for now, it's difficult terrain to cover."
How is this like any of our paths to some destination? I am reluctant to call this road, "the road to development." In my mind, this phrase feels somehow diminishing of what exists perfectly at this moment in time: this path. It is the earth. This is landscape as God made it. (Referring to it simply as "the road to development" reduces it in a way -- as if what it is, is somehow "not enough" and must be improved upon, developed, made more.
This road to Voi is like any of our journeys, homes, hearts, careers, relationships, dreams, I think. We are working to step forward. We are working to be in smoother, easier spaces. We are wanting to not perhaps bounce, be jarred, or get dirty and sweaty and hot. But this is all necessary on the trek toward anything.
So, the question, in my body, mind, spirit, becomes, "How do I enjoy this, how do I celebrate each jolt, each moment, in the meantime? How do I smile and lean into the sun, and embrace the gift of now?"
Happy Roads and Paths wherever you are! We are all exactly where we are supposed to be, and this is never fixed in time. We are all in motion....Do you believe this?