Are you all ready? Have you packed everything you need? Written your last will and testament? Yes and No. It’s true that Jonathan and I are embarking on a 10 month journey taking us half-way around the planet. Baltimore to Denver to Seville to Jerusalem to Kigali to Mumbai to Kathmandu is the plan. Did you know that the Tamils in India still call the city Bombay? I thought Bombay was old school. I imagine that many of my assumptions will be jolted by this sojourn. We return to Boston the end of June 2016. Phew! Our planet is closer than ever, the distance can be far, 8,700 kilometers or 4,700 nautical miles. It seems very short and very long
Why are we going? To me it seems natural like reaching for mint tea, or slipping on sandals without Velcro. Traveling to visit friends from Africa and Asia who’ve been to visit us. Using the Spanish and dusting off French (still spoken in Rwanda). Quakers have traveled in pairs since the famous ‘Valiant Sixty’ traveled by horseback in the 1660s. I’m surprised more Friends don’t do it. Quakers travel to ‘be a Living Testament’ of God’s love; they travel with a concern to move us along, to help us evolve; they travel in gospel Love.
Jonathan and I have our special reasons. We are learning to walk together now that the young cygnets have flown high and wide. At some point the boys were ugly ducklings but I can’t remember when. Others call it empty nest, but really I don’t want to mourn the kids leaving. They are working and building their own lives. But we prefer to call our current life-stage, open sky. What better way to celebrate and recommit ourselves to our partnership then to take this pilgrimage. Jonathan says he will walk with me and his goal is to not walk in front of me.
This is a good year to recommit. The world is on the brink of turning from climate disaster. (more in next post). This year is critical in binding our communities in love and cross-pollinating niches of justice-workers. We don’t have grandchildren. We still have knees that function, and so far our bodies are pain-free. We have jobs, but with our private business, we can shrink our work handily. We are overly embroiled in our Friends meeting, taking on much leadership; it’s time to devolve. Let go of the encumbrances and come back renewed. All smart phones have reset buttons. Sabbaticals are recommended in scriptures Lev. 25. Instead of honoring the day of rest, we are taking a jubilee year, the Bible suggests 7 years x 7 years let your fields lay fallow, free your slaves and forgive debts. That’s a tall recipe, and I’m not sure I know all that it entails.
So we are sorting, packing, and throwing away barrels of stuff. Most of it is useful stuff, but it becomes a burden if not used for many years. This shedding of the old is an important stage of the journey. Yes, we are preparing, but we are stripping away so that new life can take root.
We welcome all of you to share this journey. May it inspire you to make a sea-change in your life.