My husband’s uncle just celebrated a milestone, his 60th birthday. He is a poet and asked everyone to share their favorite poem. At first I thought, no problem, I can do this... but then I remembered, I don’t read poetry. I don’t have any favorite poems. The closest I come is quotes from Pinterest or poems by Shel Silverstein from my childhood. My sister sometimes would recite, “One Sister for Sale” as we were walking through VERY public places. This trip down memory lane reminded me that I, in fact, have written a couple poems. Mainly when I was a teenager, and filled with angst. But one snuck out unexpectedly a few years ago when I was in Kenya. So I read that one. I read it with clammy hands and a heart that nearly beat out of my chest.
Let me set the scene. I went to Kenya in September of 2015 to work alongside the grass roots community based organization Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika that seeks to improve food and income security.
The first week we were in Kapenguria where the sewing school is located. Our days were long, very busy, and filled with human interaction. The three of us who went suffered from major jet lag and culture shock, but we were lucky the weather was mild!
This little cutie is Nicole and she is wearing one of the patterns the wonen learned while we were there.
The second week we went into the low lands of Lomut where we visited the farms Jitokeze is working with.
We weren’t so lucky with the weather. It was dry and hot. Being cooped up with the same people was beginning to wear on me. There was no alone time, I couldn’t sleep because it was too hot, and to top it off, I started my period.
We were doing a workshop with the staff when we were given some time to write our thoughts. And this poem popped out:
I am depleted of spirit
I desire a restitution
it is within me
I can root myself into spirit anytime
like a plant in the desert I send my roots out in search of sustaining life
It is so hot
even the cement inside the church does not provide the cool touch I long for
The external elements are wearing on me
I turn to my understanding of God to provide shelter, strength, and wisdom
In this storm I require an anchor, rest, and a change of attitude
it is time for me to lighten my load
give it all to spirit and walk light with a renewed joy
I am not a poet, I’m not even a writer, and yet I have a blog and I have written a poem. It’s a good reminder not to let ourselves get boxed into what we think we are or are not, can or can’t do.