05 Feb 2012

Hello, I hope you did have a wonderful day yesterday and a great evening and a good night’s sleep.  Here, in Zambia, it’s evening again.


Today I had another baptism.  So different from yesterday.  So perfect for the huge family into which this child incarnated. How blessed I feel.  I was so aware of Africa today as I stood on the steps of an old colonial home holding a new baby who has chosen to come into one of the oldest white families in Zambia. The trail of energy from one generation to the next seemed even more evident with four generations all present.  Farming the land and providing food for us all, they show how deep their own roots are in this land. Like a huge tree with many branches they gathered together around the matriarch and this newly entered child. The baby wore a christening robe that four generations have worn; I used the family silver for the baptism.  This child’s future is assured.


I thought of many things on my way home and this evening as I meditated.


The choices of birth of my grandchildren were so different from those of this child today. All of them chose birth parents and adoptive parents; a birth family and an adoptive family. Tilly chose African parents but to be nurtured then by a white family.  The children who were born around the same time but who have not been adopted made different choices and have a very different life.  Many of them sit rocking and looking vacant, nourished by food but not by stimulation and affection. They will grow up in an orphanage and hopefully they will do well but that can’t be assumed.  And then this child who I baptised today has made quite different choices too.


Then I thought a lot of Zimbabwe and a conversation I had recently with someone who is of the fourth generation of Zimbabwean white farmers.  His farm was taken by the government and he and his family were left with nothing and drove their family car off the farm with as much as they could carry and that’s all. They left behind newly planted fields, all the farm machinery, their home and most of their possessions. They felt that this land was their own after so long, and it was made very clear to them that those of us who adopt Africa never own any part of her really. We are like foster parents with few legal rights.  But like the children in the orphanage, some of the land has been adopted and cared for and nourished; some remains just managing to exist. Should there be separation for our grandchildren it would be heart breaking.  And so it is for those who have adopted land many years ago; loved and tilled it; planted it and nourished it; developed it and sweated and bled over it and grown deep roots.  For them to have their roots so brutally cut is heart-breaking too. They loved Zimbabwe as I love Zambia yet none of us are secure here really… We just love and do our best and have to be ready to let go if necessary at any time.


For the Africans who lived on the land long before any of us came, of course they have ownership.  We merely foster… And for them my heart aches too in that they feel dispossessed.  Oh that we could all share without conflict.


Enough Brenda!  I could go on with this for hours, but need to rest now.


I will keep this till tomorrow and bring to mind some quotation that feels appropriate… but for now… here is a Dinka prayer from Sudan


The sun has set,

I sit and rest my weary body and think of you.

Give my body peace.

Let my arms and legs stop aching

Let my mind stop thinking

Let me sleep in your arms.

Much Love