Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

time travel

via google

via google

Today over lunch, my husband & I went back in time. We don’t do that very often — it’s boring for other folks, and it’s just not really us. At least, not most of the time…

But today for some reason, it just came up. We got to talking about hotel rooms (we’ve stayed in a LOT), and how many I could recall well. As it turns out, you’d be surprised how many hotel rooms I remember.


One thing led to another — was that Outspan or the Mount Kenya Safari Club? which one had the fireplace in the room? was that in the Rift Vally or the Highlands? — and we were talking trips. To Africa, to Egypt, to Singapore & Bangkok. A train here, a cruise here. Other folks cam back from time worked overseas with pockets of loot. We came back w/ boxes of photographs, and memories we ought to revisit more often.

Outspan Hotel, Nyere, Kenya via Google

Outspan Hotel, Nyere, Kenya
via Google


Then the funniest thing happened this evening: a dear friend from that time turned up in my Facebook Inbox! Actually, she emailed me weeks ago, but I don’t check the ‘other’ Inbox on FB very often. But there it was — a note from the dear friend whose family was the other half of our ‘kiddy safari’ car in Africa.

Once upon a time, four couples rented two LandRovers in Nairobi, and went on a 3-week safari through Kenya, crossing into Tanzania at one point. Along w/ six kids, ranging in age from 2 to 10 or 11. The two families w/ the 3 oldest kids in one LandRover; the four of us — and usually the youngest child, the only girl — in ours. It was beyond fun.

Kenya is where a witchdoctor, throwing the bones, told me I was pregnant w/my 2nd son. Kenya is where I saw elephants moving so quietly they might have materialised from dreams. Kenya is where I fell in love with a landscape — the East African highlands — that I will almost certainly never see again.


Outspan at night via google

Outspan at night
via google

Kenya is where my husband and my friend’s husband caught fish off the coast, outside of Mombasa. Where we caught a train from Nairobi to get to the coastal hotel. Where I first heard of the man-eating lions now resting in grim splendor at the Field Museum in Chicago. But Outspan was where I left my heart, walking back down the colonnade in the chill indigo night to our room, where we had a fire against the chill. And the only pictures I can find are on the ‘net, or in my head.


My beloved & I often tell each other how very grateful we are for the many riches of our lives. But I gotta say — thumbing through my mental scrapbook of Kenya (and hearing from a dear old friend) certainly remind me once again how lucky I am.

I”m suggesting more regular time travel for all of us. Who knows who might call or email you from then? And what you might remember…?


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