LH's birthday is today! Last year we celebrated his half-century mark on the Isle of Iona. Today, it will be 87 F in the middle of rural OH. No cool sea spray, brisk winds, rainy drizzle, or the holy sense of being that is Iona.
In the hustle and bustle of readying for our big trip, the start up of Sunday School and Confirmation class, planning the two worship services during my absence and the one for when I return, plus Session, motivating the Nominating Committee, I feel drained and exhausted. I can't believe that one week from today we will begin our journey to South Africa. For me, it has been a dream and I long to meet my friend with whom I have been in contact since sophomore year in HS. Her Dad and mine worked together for five years in Ghana in the late 1940's. It warms me to think that perhaps her Dad and mine will be smiling upon us from heaven seeing their offspring meet for the first time on African soil.
In a way, this is a bit of a pilgrimage, to meet my friend and to be on the African continent where my Dad was (although not literally in the same area of Africa). I long to smell the smells, drink in the landscape and the people, to hear and taste this unique place. I want to look up at the starry night sky and see different constellations of stars. To see the different trees and blooming flowers and vines and bushes. To walk on the red, dusty earth that is Africa. To be inspired by the faithful and yes, even to experience the want, need, and poverty. To see the animals in their native environment. Aye, long have I waited and yearned to be in Africa. The time is drawing close, anticipation mounts, and there is still much to do until then.
As long as I remember to pick up something like a birthday cake for two, I won't let LH's birthday get lost in the preparations and busyness of these swiftly moving days.