Last weekend we flew to Pittsburgh for a friend’s wedding, which took place in the lovely countryside overlooking this pond. It was one of those great weekends of seeing friends you just don’t get to see that often, friends we made while halfway around the world in Rwanda.
Sunday was the start of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. I wrote about my favorite traditions for our store‘s blog. One of my favorites is setting up our haft-seen each spring and including special mementos like my Dad’s old copy of Hafez’s poetry, leftover coins from our travels and the egg we purchased while living in Rwanda.
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.