I squatted on the rock, planted my bottom down and extended my legs over the side of the small cliff. Below me spread a vast landscape; sloping mountains to my left, a low green valley past my toes and the great sea of Lake Malawi, sparkling like the Caribbean, to my right. Behind me, a small waterfall tumbled down the mountainside into a cool pool. African beats sang out from my friend’s speakers as he led a free-spirited dance party not far from the cliff. An arm was placed around my shoulders and I was pulled right. Yes, life was good. It was one of those moments when you remember why you travel, why you venture. To stumble upon some magical landing, to share the experience with others placed there only by fate, and to simply exist in that moment. To absorb everything and appreciate it all. To realize that you can never replicate such a unique juncture.
The scene I describe is that of my first Thanksgiving in Malawi. There was no turkey and no pumpkin pie, but there was so much to give thanks for. This year, I give thanks for the small adventures that befall me everyday, the fortune to end up living in Malawi, the luck to have grown up in a household where hunger was not an issue, and the support of my family and friends back home. While certainly an unorthodox celebration, I was in a gorgeous area with great people and I know I’ll always look back on that one time I somehow ended up commemorating Thanksgiving on top of a mountain in the middle of Africa.
Happy holidays all!
“Be present in all things & thankful for all things” -Maya Angelou