It’s been a long, long time. I’ve had good intentions of writing again, if only for my own benefit. Today I found myself truly appreciating the loveliness of Ethiopian culture and I would like to share a small piece of that. My friend’s father passed away – it wasn’t sudden but it still is incredibly difficult for the family. Her dad is gone. In Ethiopian culture, everyone gathers at the home of the person who has passed. Grief is tactile, sadness is not stifled and love is all around. People weep openly and it is oddly refreshing to be a part of this sadness. I had never met her father and still I cried. I cried listening to his wife rhythmically sob; she has lost her partner in life and the father of her two girls. I cried while his daughters wept for their daddy. I cried when other family members entered the home and wailed for their brother, uncle, friend. And as the sadness permeated the room, I sat in a kind of meditation. And the words “And by the grace of God go I” kept entering my mind. I sat quietly. I absorbed the sadness. I felt a deep connection to all that is precious. I am thankful for this amazing place that has been my home for the past 6 years. I am thankful to my friend, in her sorrow, that she expresses her grief so openly and accepts hugs and words of comfort so easily. I long to be more open in a way that I can appreciate all that is before me.