Friday, January 15, 2016

Rich, Deep Well

This time last year I was in Benin, West Africa — zooming around on zemidjans, glimpsing a baby cheetah in the wild, strolling past roasting pigs' heads. Another world, a world I'm glad I saw, especially now that part of that world has come to live with us.

And, because I've seen this world, it lives within me. Its sights and sounds are a bulwark against the sanitized air of the everyday.

So today when I'm crammed into a Metro car or dealing with yet another work crisis, I'll think of the  vast grassy emptiness of Park Pendjari, stretching all the way to Burkina Faso. I'll conjure up the palm trees lining the beach road from Ouidah to Cotonou. I'll recall the thrill and terror of the long dark zem ride to the bus stop in Nattitingou.

I wasn't always comfortable over there. I said my share of Hail Mary's. But the trip is a rich, deep well of experience. I'm so thankful to have it.


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