Driving with Toto

Driving with Toto

I typed this up last winter, and then I left it to gather dust in the corners of my computer. Then on my morning walk, a moment of reminiscence caught my breath and I thought of these moments last year.


As I was driving Leila to her Wednesday morning swim class Toto’s Africa streamed through my car speakers, and I began to quietly cry behind my sunglasses. I am not even sure why I was crying, though I know if I had left the radio tuned to the discussion on the Diane Reame show the tears would have stayed tucked away. Instead I found myself silently weeping to a cheesy 80’s ballad.

I think I was crying because of longing and nostalgia and grief, for everything and nothing. I usually try to unpack and parse out, but that morning I let it be tangled and complicated.

This morning, during our morning meditation, something in the sage burning and the window being open reminded me of Rwanda, and I began to cry again. I thought of a hundred details of our life there. I missed them. I felt homesick for our temporary stay on that enormous continent.

In the afternoon a fellow trainee referred the emotions our morning chants and meditations conjure up in him – he said he is not even sure if he could name them, he is not even sure they need to be named – it is just exercising his feeling muscles.

I suppose I needed the exercise.

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