Like Flowers on an African Stoop
Yesterday, we had another beautiful African morning. It started like every other—with the sounds of birds playing on the tin roof, followed shortly by a knock on my front door—a friend over to spend the day. We had a full schedule, including a drive into the village for food at the outdoor market.
As we stepped out my front door and off the step, I made a casual remark about wanting to try to find some potted plants for the space. Realizing what a task that would be in my rural village, I put the thought out of my mind, and we headed out on our drive. In the evening, we had a small dinner party with friends. When I closed the door behind the last guest, I remember feeling that I had closed the door on a perfect day. I couldn’t help singing a new favorite Luganda song as I prepared my bed under the mosquito net. This move to
Today, I awoke early, again to the sounds of the bird-dance above. Anxious to see what this day would hold, I went to open the front door — a sign of welcome to passersby. As it swung open, what I saw made me gasp in the laughing-sort-of-way that is becoming commonplace for me. A dozen pots filled with flowers were now adorning my front step. My friend had obviously heard my simple wish, and had been up early to do something about it.
I have no idea where he managed to find the pots, but I do know that, though I am thousands of miles from my birthplace, I have come home — for I have never before seen such simple, unmasked loving-kindness.
Maybe it sounds silly, but to me the flowers are a perfect expression of the kind of love that gives life its breath. A love that sees even the simple desires of our heart, quietly places their answers in our lives like flowers on a stoop, and then hides in the bushes until we wake up and open the door to them.
I would like to think of myself as such an example of loving-kindness, but I know that I am not.
At least not yet.
But I shall keep trying.
I’d like that.
Other early entries from Nathaniel’s African Journal: