Thursday, May 13, 2010

She had a farm

Friends and loved ones, you know by now -- of course -- of my undying love for Isaak Dinesen's book Out of Africa and the movie and Meryl Streep and Robert Redford isn't bad to look at either. As you will recall the book opens with this line:

I had a farm in Africa at the foot of Ngong Hills.

So yesterday I was on Facebook where I read that my newish friend Robyn was homesick for Africa where she grew up, the daughter of missionaries. My first response was to write "She had a farm in Africa." Now you and I know I never mean any harm, but I was afraid that Robyn would think that I did not take her homesickness seriously as she probably did not know of my true devotion to Dinsesen's work.

Instead I sent it to her in a private message, which made sense to me at the time, but now that I think about it didn't really address my concern that she understand that I was taking her homesickness to heart.

Are you following any of this?

Anyway . . . Robyn was lovely and gracious and wrote to me that she could see the Ngong Hills from her backyard. Well, that was too much for this devotee. You know how I get. I just burst right into tears and sent her this passage from the book. I'm not sure I was helpful at all in curing her homesickness, but it's such a good part. I hope you enjoy it too.

If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, this is soooooo good! and then there was that part in the movie where she was explaining to her loving servant about how she was leaving and he couldn't follow her . . . oh how I fall apart at that!