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  • Lorraine Johnson

[111] The Arrival And Departure

I once lived in a far off culture where the ceremony of arrival was full of tradition—the host breaks the pink kola nut cut into small nuggets, presents the bits floating in a shallow plate of fresh water with salt and red hot pepper offered on the side, as the plate is passed around the circle of gathering.

Each would take a bit of the welcome and then the giver would turn and ask his guests— what is your mission, what brings you to my doorstep? With the door opened wide and respect on the table, the guests would settle into sharing.

And when the kolas' pods can no longer be plucked, the new season brings roasted cocoa beans instead. Equally divine in their offering, the arrivals continue—and time slows, breaths are taken and conversations begin. And in this small gesture, true connections are formed on common ground, an ease settles in as the storyline is told, and then those who arrived, move on. Some forever, while others arrive once more.

And in the moments of quieting my mind, I remember—I slow, I listen for the breath, the faint sound of the calming hum, and invite in the conversation, so it can be simply heard and honored, before it moves on.


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