Most days I love the messes of life--the odd contrasts and sweet and sour of daily living. I say, "most days," because it's easiest to ride the bumps when I'm feeling relaxed and at ease. This week has been full of contrasts and messes and tensions. A few thoughts about one.
The contrast? Congo. It's always on my mind (apologies to Willie Nelson). Always. Many of the pictures that cycle through my laptop's screensaver are from Beni and UCBC. There are pictures of faces of friends from UCBC, pictures of landscape and lush vegetation, the buildings under construction. Chunks of time on Mondays and Fridays and evenings are often devoted to work related to Congo Initiative and UCBC. This week there have been conference calls about funding plans and strategies and volunteer policies, research on foundations (part of the funding work), research on solar power and internet, thinking about a faculty development plan...
Aside from the obvious, geographical difference, the tension is between being fully in the present place and time and desiring to be somewhere else. I love being outside in the cold and snow, provided that feet, hands, and body core are warm!. Doesn't matter that I have to stop every 75-100 yards to catch my breath or stretch an angry muscle. The cold air, the hard work, the lungs filling and exhaling, the sun and shadows on the snow are all good and wonderful. The physical exertion demands my attention and rewards me for it. And then I come back to tasks and responsibilities at home or work, and my heart and mind turn toward Congo where the challenges are many and the vision is bold.
I want to be back, on the ground there at UCBC, but I'm here now, in central Ohio.
Today I will do my best to stay focused, be present, and enjoy this moment. It's good counsel that has guided me through far more difficult times. It's advice to remind me to relax and ride today's bumps.