Sunday, September 25, 2011

the little things

image from here.

It's borderline pathetic how insanely happy I get from the little things in life.

I've been thinking a lot about the month I spent in Tanzania, the people I was with, the babies I fell in love with, the smells that replaced clocks, the treasures I bought, the animals that scared me. I've been thinking about how happy I was there. The little things that brought me to my knees with sorrow and joy all at once. How desperate I felt when I had to leave all I had become entranced with. Jasmine, dirt roads, Light of Africa, the Serengeti, my students, the beautiful crew that became my family for four epic weeks...

For whatever reason I vividly remember the fabric I was holding as I boarded the KLM flight from Kilimanjaro. I remember feeling like this piece of fabric was a connection to these people and this mad rush of happiness came over me. It's near to impossible to explain now, but then, in that extreme moment of emotions, I felt happy for what I had lived, for what I now was. For the fact that I'm able to love the little things just as much, if not more, than the big.

It's a strange feeling to leave a place you got to know so well in such a short period of time. All to return to a place you've known your whole life, but suddenly feel completely disconnected to. I sometimes remember the hurt I felt trying to get back into NYC life after that month away. A stranger in my hometown. The world spinning furiously around me, when all I could think of was the love I had given and received on the other side of the world. This city can be brutal. People don't always stop to see the little things, for me that was the culture shock upon arriving home. I just wanted to get a smile from a stranger like I had nonstop in Moshi. I wanted a paper airplane to make someone's day, bubbles to make kids go wild, a song to make a crowd stop and dance. But like most things, time heals and you find your way again. But you never stop finding the little things, the little connections to that time, that place, that beauty.

I really hope my child understands these things as he grows up...

2 comments:

  1. Love you, love you, love you--- I remember feeling this same way when we returned to LA. What a special time that was/will always be for us. Love, Lynn

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  2. Nic, I think one of the most valuable life gifts is to be able to appreciate the little things as after all the litte things are what life is all about so you are very fortunate.

    This post is so beautifully written. I travelled through East Africa for months and was amazing at how happy the people were amongst the poverty and the shadow of disease.

    And what you never forget is the beautiful, beautiful children. I can still recall all those smiling faces without any of the trappings of modern commercialism our children have. xx

    Africa is certainly an experience that grounds you and stays with you forever.xx

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