I decided “better late than never” and ventured into something new and long overdue: at age 50-plus, I registered for lessons at a local driving school.
To my horror, during just my second class, I was taken to drive in the chaotic Nairobi traffic.
“Try to create space around your vehicle,” was one of the first instructions.
Steve was a cheerful little boy with big brown eyes, curly blond hair, and a dimple that appeared on his right cheek every time he smiled. He had dreamy eyes, and often sat by the window to gaze at the rain, the clouds, or the birds.
“He has been kissed by an angel,” the Japanese midwife had told me with a smile when she first placed the small warm bundle in my arms, pointing out a snow-white streak of hair at the back of his head. “He has a special calling in life.” Over the years, her words often came back to me and I wondered what they meant.
When the thought first crossed my mind that I should make a New Year’s resolution to keep a daily journal, I immediately dismissed it. Too many past resolutions had fallen by the wayside, and I could foresee ending the year with a journal full of empty pages. I also didn’t have time for another project, I told myself.
However, I had recently completed a counseling course in which keeping a journal was a requirement. The instructor had emphasized making a habit of recording thoughts, ideas, plans, experiences, worries, fears, and victories. It was an important step toward self-awareness, he explained, and that is crucial to being able to help someone else sort out their problems.
Every morning I wake up and board an express train leaving from fast track station. As I speed along life’s rails, I stare out the window and think. Where has the time gone? How did my children manage to grow up so quickly? Now it’s happening with my grandchildren. I catch my reflection in the window and wonder where all that gray hair came from. It seems like only yesterday…
In today’s ever-changing and expanding world, it’s hard to take the focus off of what is happening to us externally, the pressures of life on the fast track. But it’s through meeting our inner needs that we are renewed. It can start simply, as the following ideas suggest:
Have you ever felt like life took you down the wrong road, or that things just weren’t meant to work out for you? There was a time when my life didn’t seem to make any sense, like the tangle of threads on the back of a tapestry.
A serious case of scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, left me depressed as a child and then heightened the usual teenage worries about the future. By the time I was 15, I was on drugs. It was a wonder that I managed to make it through those troubled years, but I did. I can see now that it was God’s love and mercy, but at the time I couldn’t have felt more lost and helpless; God was the furthest thing from my mind.
“We haven’t done even half of what we had planned for this morning,” I mumbled as I stepped impatiently into the elevator that was to speed my husband Franz and me to an appointment on the 20th floor of a downtown high-rise. A few moments later, the elevator jolted to a halt and we were enveloped in darkness.
“Not again! Not now!” I groaned, glancing at my watch.