Written By Nicole, Latitudes Year ’20 Zanzibar
Overflowing heart moments are those when you feel an incredible lightness, fireworks in your belly, complete love and joy in your heart, with a goofy, uncontrollable smile on your face~ they make you want to dance, run and jump all in one breath. When I find myself with an overflowing heart, I feel like a child~excitedly looking at a world map~ understanding for the first time that life holds and embodies so much, with an urge to experience it all with a strong sense of connectedness and belonging to it all. These moments, no matter how silly, make me feel so connected to this earth and myself. They are moments caused by the most simple of things. These moments were plentiful during my time in Zanzibar, but here are my favorites.
- The first time I saw Sally~ our resident, ginormous snail (as big as my foot, I kid you not) who knew snails were capable of such a size?? Not me!
- Planting carrots~the idea that I would be eating a an imperfect carrot, maybe resembling legs, planted and loved throughout the whole process by me
- Frolicking in the garden with Rose, Moyo’s baby cow~watching her run and jump with brief brakes to lick a few leaves~
- Making my first bread~Christine (my host) and I looking in the oven asking each other if we think it’s ready every five minutes, eventually admitting to each other that neither of us really knew what ready looked like, but enjoying the doughy, fresh bread all the same
- The first (of so many) solo dance parties I enjoyed in my room, I’ve never loved myself and my own companionship so much
- Reading in The Omnivore’s Dilemma that there is a theory that mushrooms could get there energy from the moon, as many plants get theirs from the sun~my perception of the world and how things worked seemed to be completely flipped, making me feel like a kid discovery a whole new, unexplored world
- When we were given six new chickens from the Waldorf School~I spent the whole day outside, embodying the role of the mama hen, finding each chicken, making sure they were eating and drinking, enjoying watching them explore this new place as I had weeks before, all while Milly (my secret favorite) nestled at my feet making little loving noises
- Seeing my first giraffe~we were just staring curiously at each other while he stuck his tongue out
- Attending Saunti a Busara, a music festival in Stone Town, dancing by myself in the midst of a huge crowd~watching all of the locals belt the words and dance in the front row, feeling the energy emanating from all those around me~we were from all over the world, but we were whole, together. It’s amazing how music can bring hundreds of unfamiliar spirits together, it has a way of allowing one to get out of their head and just BE.
- Watching Tokaboy (our dog) and Rose play together~I felt like both a proud parent and a little kid who wished she could join in and speak their secret, nonverbal, language
- Observing Layla, my three year old host sister, hugging plants, telling them “good plant, good plant, I love you”, encouraging them to grow~ completely, inexplicably, filling my heart with love