None of us intend to age. Certainly not myself. I am still in the hunt as I traveled with my partner on our Safari. I am not a visionary but I am weathered in experiences like the tribal people I spent days with at Sarara camp who proclaim to descend from the lost tribe of Israel, the silverbacks with their majestic power who lord over the stunning terrain of the Rwandan forests, and the lion and lioness who make love not war on the Serengeti plain.
A Purchase Made with Hope
I knew the writing on the wall the day I took out my credit card to pay for two Tumi ‘duffels’ and a new carry-on. I recall feeling defiant. I would not allow aging to spoil our trip to East Africa or our life together as a couple. Duffle bags symbolized an adventurous life.
I said to the shopkeeper, “You would think I was 40 years old buying those new duffels.” You see darling, I want to stop Father Time because I adore life. And buying those two duffels (now one of the best of my purchases!) was symbolic that my future with my Ultimate Concierge would continue to hold amazing adventures.
But, in my heart of hearts, I knew this was not true. The love of my life, my partner in crime and passion, my best girlfriend, the ultimate of ultimate concierges in the entire universe, is 89 years old, soon to be 90. I cannot bring myself to accept this passage of our lives. I mourn for time.
I recall racing home to tell him of my purchases. “You cannot believe what I did! I bought duffels for our trip to Africa. I splurged. I don’t know if we will ever use them, after Africa but I bought them anyway”
His answer was, “We will use them again. The best is yet to come.” I smiled and gave him a kiss, but I knew and so did he.
“Like the animals, I am a wanderer, a free spirit, a loyal partner. I lack fear and enjoy sharing. I’m a person who appears on the outside to be a fashionista but is so much more.” — Honey Good
Though the Universe Had Other Plans, I Did Not Give Up
I began to dream about visiting East Africa and the silverback gorillas several years ago. We planned a trip and the virus laws forced us to end that adventure.
After the virus we planned another trip to visit Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya and my Ultimate Concierge faced one medical issue after another for an entire year.
Nevertheless, throughout the year I kept the dream alive, talking about it often to my Ultimate Concierge and friends. Talking about my dream made me feel better; uplifted. Until the day we left, I was never 100 percent certain I would pack our new duffels!
Looking back I recall packing the Tumi duffels with our material possessions.
I also recall how I felt on our return home when I unpacked our duffels. Every item recalled a short and lovely story about our togetherness as man and wife and our quality time with three of our grandsons. Stories of our time tuned in to people who enriched our lives, and animals who exposed me, more than my husband, to what I always knew, the real me.
The Real Me
Like the animals, I am a wanderer, a free spirit, a loyal partner. I lack fear and enjoy sharing. I’m a person who appears on the outside to be a fashionista but is so much more.
Like the stunning animals in the animal kingdom, my outer garb is not the authentic testament of who I am. My inner garb is my testament.
Only I know that, and I am fine with this. Truth be told, I prefer being alone nowadays. Like the animals, I am content with my own company. I have lost very important women in my life: my mother, my Aunt Essie, my grandmother, and two close friends. I need to spend time at this stage of my life with women of substance.
How am I like my animal friends? I am a listener, I am fierce, I am tuned in, and often feel I am floating above others as I listen to their nonsense and ponder. I am also like the animals who have their limitations, quirkiness, and faults.
The duffels are the symbol of who I am at this moment of my life… ageless.
This is great to a degree but mixed with a heavy heart because I have my partner who is trying to be ageless because he adores me. The writing is on the wall. Age is not always just a number and I am despondent and saddened every day. Those around me know. Now you know.
On our trip to Africa, I tried to gather my wits and wrote this letter that tells some of my story.
My Love Letter to East Africa
Why do I love you, Africa? Let me count the ways.
There was the sighting of the star, Venus. The nomadic tribe people I spent several days with talking and laughing. The silverback gorilla experiences, the baby orphaned elephants I was allowed to feed and learn their stories.
The Genocide Museum in Rwanda, the animals on the Serengeti plain, our guide Bennie, meeting Nikki, long conversations with several young African working girls in airports, restaurants, at the camps who flocked around me for information. Visiting Nairobi and other cities. Our African accommodations with outdoor showers, delicious fresh foods, and stunning sunrises and sunsets.
And, lastly, I saved the best for last… the lessons the animals taught me to communicate in silence in the day and at night, spending time with our devoted grandsons. And sharing loving and unforgettable experiences with my Ultimate Concierge, the best husband in the world, on the Serengeti plain, at Singita camps in Tanzania and Rwanda, with the silverbacks in the high mountains and with the tribes at Sarara camp and seeing Venus, the star in the sky for the first time in my life.
A Connection with Venus
I grapple with what I want to talk about because I cannot go into depth about all my experiences. I decide on Venus and the animals on the Serengeti because like us, Venus is a woman and the animals have partners.
How many of you have seen the star, Venus? I know I hadn’t until that evening in our Land Rover on the Sararoa Plain in Northern Kenya when our guide Ann said, “Look up into the sky. There is Venus, the second closest star to Earth.”
Alone in my thoughts, I reached for my Ultimate Concierge’s hand as I stared at the beautiful star. She spoke to me.
She told me she was the planet of feminine energy and love. I had never seen her until that evening. I felt her presence was a message and I pondered as the land rover crisscrossed the plain as I held tight to my love’s hand.
My Take Away From Venus
And on that night, thousands of miles from our home in America, I decided as I peered in awe at my new friend, Venus, in the silence of the night, I would live each day with my Ultimate Concierge to its fullest and not make assumptions.
With acceptance, I realized I had the power to control how I think and act. I am a woman who has come of age over many years and fully understand that it is up to me to find my true center through all of my passages alone. Like Venus, the only brightly shining star in the sky.
The Animals on the Serengeti Plain
The animals on the Serengeti mesmerized me. They spoke volumes in their movements, without a sound. I witnessed their pattern of living, their balance of life, their relationships with their mates and herds and prides.
I have the feeling my experiences have been different from other women. Though I don’t know what sets me apart. I think it is a conglomeration of past incidents and for certain, writing authentically. I am more like the animals… I prefer silence. And, I am like Venus, filled with energy and love.
A New Passage
I am in the throws of entering a new passage in my life. My husband’s aging. I love taking care of him and I love being alone with him. But I won’t miss traveling adventures if we decide to minimize our travels because every day is an adventure in our home.
I cannot stop feeling deeply saddened because of Father Time. It stares me in the face on a daily basis and I become overwrought with sadness for what was. I know many of you are experiencing the same feelings. The goal is to catch ourselves and thank goodness for today.
We have to be realists. I think it is important, though painful to explore our feelings. My duffel bag experience opened my eyes to a new passage in my life.
And, what is that? Why a new adventure, darling!
This adventure will be walking along a beach with my Ultimate Concierge and our pooch, America, gathering Sea shells. Decorating a pied a terre and listening to the surf roll in and out. To ‘just be’ with my guy, our pooch, my computer and my stories in the silence of the day and night. Never forgetting to look for Venus and remember the blessing of God; to bring along pairs of animals on Noah’s Ark. Amen!
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