Sunday, June 03, 2007

"It's a lovely day today, and whatever you have to do...

...You've a lovely day for doin' it, it's true." --Lovely Day, performed by Donald O'Conner, written by Irving Berlin, Call Me Madam

I cannot believe that I am in AFRICA!!! I was standing on a balcony last night with a few of the new friends I met these last few days, and one of them mentioned how these moments--the moments where you are standing on a balcony under a full moon and a starry, starry sky, with a cool breeze, and palm trees lining the street below you, and all across the valley in front of you you can see the lights of old Fez, and the medina, and men in ghalabeyahs and women with headscarves walk below to do whatever business calls them, and you watch the scene and just live--are the moments that make you love to be alive.

It reminds me of that song that's on the Meet The Robinsons soundtrack, Little Wonders. Those moments of peace, or accomplishment, or whatever it is that lets you take a moment to sdraw breath and consider now, a special place that you will never see again, and you can look at the future and say, "I'm ready."

It is nice to not fear the future, to have that "blessed assurance" that "Jesus is mine." And yes, "Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!" All this stuff that I am getting to see and hear and do, and the people I get to meet--oh how lovely, lovely that they were put into MY life, and that I get to enjoy them! No one else has my unique combination of experiences, and no one ever will--and when I think of how complex and multi layered the story of life--even my life, simple as it has been so far!--I am glad to be alive. It makes everything easier to deal with, even the things that aren't as pleasant, perhaps, in the now.

Oh, I am glad, glad, glad!

This morning we went to the medina in Fez, and oh my goodness! The sights, the crowd, the things to buy, the sounds, the smells! When the tour books say "colorful smells" I laugh, because there are hardly colors varied enough to describe the ecstasy of going from a tannery section of the medina--cool, but an unbelievable stench--to the fruits and veggies--with its own indescribable variety--to a stall that is exquisitely fresh and delicious with huge bushels of mint that just lets you breathe! And the jewelry, and robes, and rugs, and innumerable other things.

Oh, me!

Two of the guys bought galabeeyahs, and when we had them all ready to go, the shopkeeper r said, "Come look over herie! Many beautiful rugs! The seven of us walked into the doorway across the narrow street. It was a narrow little door, dark, with a flight of very steep, very high steps going up. The girls were in back, and we looked up at the stairs and said it looked pretty sketch and we were very close to not going. But we figured that there were seven of us, so we walked up into the rug shop. The rugs were amazing, but the shopkeeper lead us up a rickety wooden staircase (also extremely steep) and onto the roof. He grinned and gestured behind him. The veiw was framed by two buildings on either side, one with a cute little bumpy chimney, and the other strung with clotheslines and rugs hanging out the windows. Between the two, we saw the huge sweep of old Fez, with the medina in front, and then up across a valley and up a hill, where it met the incredible blue sky. We took pictures, of course. I'll post them soon.

One other note on the medina--cats, cats everywhere! They were sleeping quite comfortably in and on and around all the wares in every kind of shop you can imagine. They're smaller and thinner than your average domestic cat in America, but very friendly for the most part, and very fast.

Africa--how unbelievable! How ironic!

No comments: