Uhuru means “free”


Back on Canadian soil, wearing a lovely African print and beaded jewelry with a heart full of smiling faces, boots muddied with volcanic earth, new muscles eager for the next hiking adventure. There were T-shirts in the Kilimanjaro airport with a few Swahili-English translations. Gail was reading them and learned that the name of the peak, Uhuru, translates to “free.”
This climb came out of nowhere for me, was not a lifelong dream, but a recommendation of my doctor as an antidote for grief.
If I have more freedom, it is to grieve with abandon when it rises like a wave on the ocean or a change in the direction of the wind. Sometimes it takes me over, smashes me to the depths and other times I just smile at the bittersweet conundrum of feelings. In this photo, I am releasing some of Ian’s hair on the wind at the summit.
I have blasted through perceived limitations of my physical body and my mental toughness. I would not have imagined that I could climb the Baranco rock wall or continue to the summit despite every molecule of my body begging me to stop. From now on, if I think something is too hard or beyond my capability, I know that if I stick to it, “pole pole,” slowly slowly, that I can accomplish it. That’s an elixir of freedom installed in my mental medicine chest.
Thank you for reading, for your encouragement and cheers. image