Tuesday, January 8, 2013


"In The Center" - a sculpture by Saint Clair Cemin (taken on 79th Street in NYC)

The word safari, loosely translated from Swahili, means journey.  It usually is used to describe a journey taken by people not used to the rigorous demands of life in the African bush, a life where there is no such thing as convenience or familiarity.

Every new beginning is a safari.

January is a month of new beginnings, the month itself named after Janus, the Roman god who looks both forward and backwards.  The New Year stretches out before us and dares us to be different; challenges us to accomplish new things – maybe ones we couldn’t accomplish the year before.  Most of us will make some kind of new resolution to be fit, thinner, do Pilates, read War and Peace or some other outward accomplishment.  

Most people have given up on their resolutions by March.  Gyms see a noticeable decrease in attendance by that time, the new converts to 6 a.m. workouts giving up because of the results are not what they expected.
Our journeys of new beginnings don’t always bring the desired results by the time we want them.  It would be awesome to run for a week and drop a pound; build church membership by March just by implementing a new program; learn a second language and speak it fluently within the year. 

This morning I woke up in New York.  I am looking out over Columbia University’s football field – a reminder that Columbus is highly revered here even though his foot never touched the USA.  Peter Minuit (a Dutch lord) bought Manhattan Island for the equivalent of twenty four dollars – a steal for the land that now has supremely high priced real estate.  He saw the future, and named the place New Amsterdam, the place where the settlers were from.  The Dutch sought after a place of familiarity and home, whose smells and sounds comforted the thoughts of the new inhabitants of a strange land. 

Later the English fought for the land and took it from the Dutch, naming after York – their home back in England (actually the Duke of York claimed it as his).

God is currently unfolding new things before me.  I see a new adventure before me in 2013 – one that is a bit of an uncharted adventure. 

Maybe I’ll call 2013 the Year of the Safari.  An incredible journey that will unfold before me – a challenge to rise up and see the future.