i feel nostalgic for Uganda. sometimes the most simple of things come back to you and you miss them like you never thought you would. for me, one of those things was lying in my lower bunk, my "cave," next to the screened window, listening to the sounds of dusk- and of dawn.
at home, i never slept with the window open. but in uganda, i didn't have that option. all our bedroom windows simply had screens. uganda was hot, and when things finally cooled off in the evening, i loved lying in bed, just feeling, listening, experiencing. i would listen to music or write in my journal. and when the power was out, as it so often was, i would simply lie there and let the cool night air sweep over my hot, sweaty body. sometimes the afternoon rain would extend into night, and i would listen to the steady, drumming drops as they cooled off the hot day, leaving me feeling drowsy and content. there is something about night in Uganda. it is quiet. it is loud. sometimes as i would drift off to sleep i could hear the soft sounds of our South African neighbors, drinking away the night. or the jarring sounds of wild dogs would suddenly wake me as i slept. but always, the sweet breezes would let me sleep.
i never saw the sun rise in Uganda. but i felt it. heard it. there were these birds- at first their call was disturbing and annoying. but after time, i became accustomed and recognized their call as the "morning welcome." i awoke to other sounds- frogs, insects, occasionally a monkey- i'm not sure of which sounds came from which animal. i would feel the warm sun sparkle through through the screen and my mosquito net and jump onto my face and hands. the days got warm early and sometimes i would hear our guard as he finished up his duties and went into his guardhouse. those early morning moments, when no one else was awake, i would relish. lying in bed, knowing that i was awake but didn't have to quite get up yet. before the hustle and bustle of dressing, making breakfast, exercising, and getting off to town for the day. sometimes i pulled out my scriptures and read; other times, i would simply stare through my window at the green foliage, drying laundry, and blue sky.
those moments, experiencing Uganda through my bedroom window, i cherish. i didn't realize that they would become sacred to me. yet, they have. what i wouldn't give to go back.
revel in the small things. remember them. drink every second in. find beauty no matter where you are. remember that the monotony of every day is what makes each day so perfect. take time to appreciate where you are in life, because today will not be here tomorrow, and next year we want to look back with fondness on this year. remember the past, but don't live in it. live in today. be real. be you.