“I have been….a mental traveler”….
One of my favorite lines from my all-time, hands down, no doubt about it favorite movie…”Out of Africa”. I can’t even drive five miles into town these days so I spend most of my time in my courtyard, with my laptop and my puppies, trying to stay in touch with the world. This morning, as I drank my tea 🙂 , I chatted online with friends in the Philippines and Canada….and a good friend from high school. Last night I chatted with a friend in Denmark. What an amazing thing it is to be able to sit and occupy the same small space, every single day, and yet mentally travel around the world…… I can go online and visit places that I’ve only dreamed of and revisit places that I’d like to see again….and I’m perfectly content….almost….
I recently read Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick….well, I read half of it. By the second half it got to be “The pilgrims had this many guns and cannons and the indians had this many arrows and guns….blah, blah, blah” and, frankly, when they start talking about war and military strategy and that kinda stuff my mind starts to wander. I want to know what it was like to live in those times. I’m a Mayflower descendant, thirteen generations removed from Stephen Hopkins and his daughter, Constance, who made that trip centuries ago. As I read the book, I just kept thinking “The pilgrims were NUTS!!!” They willingly climbed into a little, bitty boat and taking a huge leap of faith, traveled across a vast ocean to end up who knows where under who knows what conditions! Can you imagine that!!!?? I don’t even book a hotel room without first going online and viewing the virtual tour to see if its a place where I’d actually like to stay! And imagine Karen Blixen, sailing to Africa from Denmark….she couldn’t go online and check the place out first….”Do I really want to grow coffee?”, “Just how many lions live right outside my door?” “Just exactly how hot does it get…..I’d better check weather.com”.
I just can’t imagine having the courage to uproot myself like that and start a whole new life with so little information to base that decision upon. I could do it, I know….I’m a tough little character…..but I’d want to take my laptop with me!
I’m reading Out of Africa now. It’s a book that I’ve picked up many times but never quite gotten into. I was meant to read it now….and I love it. It’s beautifully written prose….primarily about the landscape and the natives. I was googling the other day, looking for pictures to accompany my reading and discovered that there’s also a biography of Denys Finch Hatton (Too Close to the Sun by Sara Wheeler) so I”m reading it at the same time and it is also very well written. I love memoirs and biographies. I love to read about extraordinary people who find the inner strength to live the life that they were meant to live.
There’s a line in Isak Dinesen’s book….”Here I am, where I ought to be”. I love that line….and I use it to remind myself that there’s a reason for all that I’ve been going through….I’m where I ought to be….and I’ll be stronger for it.