Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cliffs of Kilifi

Last weekend I was in Seattle for school. I've had moments of intense love and equally intense frustration during this program. Ayurveda is a whole new train of thought, complete with a new language (Sanskrit) and methodology. The science is mostly the same, but the philosophy is 100% different than western modern medicine. It's staggering at times and I feel a little bit like a fish out of water. Or a hipster without skinny jeans. Or Chelsea Handler without vodka.

I'm in a constant state of learning and traveling and adjusting these days. I'm also working hard to materialize these dreams I have. And they are BIG DREAMS. (Sidebar: It's pretty tiring chasing your dreams, amiright? My legs are burning and there's a definite stitch in my side.) I want things to happen RIGHT NOW, but this is going to require more work than just making a couple of phone calls and studying course material 15 hrs a week.

It needs strong legs.

It requires clear vision.

It takes faith beyond what I know I can do or have ever done before.

All week, I've kept returning to a specific memory of the first time I went to Africa. I was with my brother, Mike, and sis-in-law, Kim. After we completed the ministry portion of our trip in western Kenya, we split up from the group and went to see Mike's old friends, Jamie and Ginger Swift. They were living on the coast of Kenya at the time, in a tiny fishing town called Kilifi. I knew they were close to the beach, and if you know me then you know I connect deeply with the ocean. It is a child-like excitement that takes over my whole being when I lay eyes on vast ocean waters. I want to run directly into the water, fully clothed and jump head-long into the waves. So, as you can imagine I was stoked to see the Indian ocean, to watch the sunrise come up over the eastern edge of the water-sky horizon.

We arrived late in the evening after a turbulent ride on a tiny plane (where I was solidly convinced for at least an hour that we would not land in one piece), and made a 90 minute drive under a full moon across pitted roads and beautifully silhouetted trees. We pulled up to the Swift's house and, exhausted, I set my bags down, washed my face and fell into bed. I asked Jamie before I went to sleep if they lived close to the water. I could hear it, I could feel a gentle breeze, but when I looked out from the patio, I couldn't see it. All of the markers were there, but it felt just slightly out of my grasp. Jamie looked at Ginger with a conspirational smile and said, "Yeah, we're pretty close. We'll show you tomorrow."

So, with that, I went to bed.

I woke up to a household in full motion and breakfast being prepared. I asked Ginger what I could to to help. With a mischievous smile, she handed me a bowl of fresh pineapple and said, "Can you take this out to the table on the patio?" I went out back, set down the bowl, looked past the edge of a stunning sheer-drop cliff and saw this:

*This is a google image I found, but this is essentially it. But it was more amazing because I WAS THERE.

The place I longed to be; the ocean I could feel and smell and hear but couldn't yet see. The darkness, even with it's beautiful full moon, did not allow me to see what I had been eagerly anticipating. My brother and the Swifts rightfully teased me about it for the rest of the trip. They knew the ocean was there all along. They knew it would be there, apparent to all as soon as the sun rose it's sleepy head.

I'm traveling, chasing, working hard to get to where I want to be, to create the life I want to live.

My calling, my bliss. It's there. I know it is, all the markers are there. The little signs that point me in the right direction and reassure me that I am not lost and my work is meaningful.

It's just a matter of time until I can see it in the full light of day.