Simplicity

I wrote this when we lived in Rwanda. I miss our life there sometimes.

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Africa has always held the romantic allure of being a continent where I could live a beautifully simple life.  So many of my expectations have been eradicated since we arrived, but this one has survived.  I go to bed when it is dark.  I wake up when it is light.  I eat a breakfast of cereal, banana, honey and milk every morning.  Monday through Friday I have tea and bread mid-morning and rice and beans for lunch.  We make dinner on a single hotplate with our sole pot or frying pan.  On Wednesday and Saturday mornings I spend several hours doing laundry by hand.  My wardrobe fits in the confines of 15 hangers and a piece of carryon luggage.  There is no television.  In the evenings we listen to music and play scrabble or read.  Good stories with the sole purpose of entertainment.  Sometimes I just sit.  Frequently, while sitting at the kitchen table, or laying in bed, we drift into long conversations.  The kind of conversations you have early in relationships, when you are so enraptured with each other you forget about the million other things you have to do.

If it sounds romantic, it is – sometimes.  Sometimes it is so blissfully uncomplicated it catches my breath.  Sometimes as I trudge down the precipitous hill towards school I long for my Honda Accord.  Sometimes all I want is to sprawl on the couch and unwind to the lulling voice of The Barefoot Contessa.  Sometimes I loathe not having a freezer full of ice cream at my disposal.

Most times I am grateful for this life, uncluttered, majestic in its simplicity.

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