I don't run the risk of being killed as often as i used to. Don't cross the road to avoid drunk 18-year-old policemen with automatic rifles. Don't have an evacuation plan and backpack ready as civil war encroaches. Don't cliff jump, land 4-seater airplanes in mountain-top cow pastures, or have bottles thrown at me by angry unemployed youth demanding a job. Don't swim with crocodiles or walk along the edge of Victoria Falls. Don't dry hump in the back of the parent's station wagon while my buddy takes cul-de-sac's at 60 kmh and swears he only drank a few.
Is this age, marriage, responsibility, parenthood? I certainly don't feel immortal or immune to danger like we do in our youth. I'm more aware that death happens, and of the effect my death or injury would have on my children, family, community, chickens.
Or maybe I don't have anything pressing to die for right now. When I knowingly placed my life in danger by returning to civil war Zaire in 1997, it was because I believed it was important enough to take that risk. That was where I needed to be to contribute to the world. Now my important contribution is here raising good kids and crops and community.
Maybe I don't need to be so close to the edge to learn and feel full anymore. I guess I sometimes miss the thrill, even the notoriety, of being so far out on a limb without (or ignoring) fear of falling. But it's been replaced by a Joy of being so far in - in love, in myself, in natural rhythm. I don't need to experience death's whisper in my ear to embrace or understand life. I live a grand adventure in every child's tear and am part of a full circle with every fresh egg.
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Write to Renew - One of our previous graduates, the talented Jay Nahani, is leading us in a Write to Renew workshop June 14th. For writers and non-writers alike, this one-d...