I have this backpack that I carry with me always. This year has been a big one, high highs and low lows. My bag is full and now it has become burdensome. I know I must set it down and take some things out. 

In it I see some heartbreak. It will be messy to get all those shards cleaned out – jagged edges must be minded – and you can’t miss the small pieces or the bag will be permanently damaged. 

There is our new home and all the work yet to do. Some of the work is physical: a bathroom to finish, a fence to be built, trees to be removed, holes to patch. Some of it is in the soul: we have brought our little family to a new place for the first time and we must learn how to live in a new space. There are so many adjustments to be made and things to let go and new things to bring in. We need to learn the new neighborhood and get to know our neighbors better and it all can get sticky if you don’t keep up with it. 

The dust of Africa coats it all now. The dirt of Kenya is red and fine and chalky. It seeps into everything. It washes off easily and maybe that is the problem. There is so much of it you are almost delighted to find it again on a pair of shoes that will never be the same again. 

It’s one of those things I do not know quite how to start. But here is this bag full of stuff. It’s mine and it must be dealt with somehow. I cannot carry it anymore.


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