(The Joy of Discovery)
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~ Anonymous
“I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.” Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Most of the writing in the New Testament is made up of interruptions, disruptions, that impacted the world. In the Old Testament, the writing begins with The Beginning of the Firsts. The first conscience of human beings – of knowing good and evil. The first murder and the first exile, the vagabonds, and migration of man, the flood followed by the extremes who lived through hard times and new discoveries that either made them or broke them. We get to read about them and find strength in their stories to write our own stories.
The most interesting story of migration is about Abraham and Sarah – leaving the familiar and go to the unknown. Their journey was full of perils, joys, and tears. A dysfunctional family at best. For the son to leave his aging father and his tribe, the only family he knew, must have been a blow out of water with mixed emotions of painful goodbyes… and itsy feet. It was a phenomenal disruption that formed a nation.
Personally I said goodbye to those I left behind with sadness but also with excitement and anticipation for an adventure. A fresh start in a new country. It felt almost like how you feel after you rearrange your bedàroom furniture. Only it’s so much more. An adventurous journey to a foreign country where I knew nothing of, other than what I’ve heard and read and seen in the movies. It was with mixed emotions of ecstacy and fear of the unknown. In hindsight I say, “I’d do it again.”
Abraham trusted the Invisible God and took his wife and nephew and his family and started walking. He was an old man when he left home. One foot in front of the other. He came to a place now known as Israel (named after his grandson). Phenomenal discovery. Or was it? Israel lies at the junction of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. It was the crossroad for sojourners and strangers, settlers, and warfare. The crossroad was on a little hill called Meggido. Overlooking Meggido is a little town called Nazareth where a little boy grew up. Coincidence? You decide.
We say, “Ngdi ngara bekesel chochim.” Or ‘Aika di chulekrael.”
and “Ea chochim a meklechem.”
Sonia Shah in her book, The Next Great Migration: the Beauty and Terror of life on the Move, argues that migration is central to life. “Butterflies are migrating in response to climate change. Genetic evidence suggests that humans have always been migratory. Ninety-nine percent of species newly introduced to an ecosystem adapt harmoniously, rather than becoming “invasive.” We are biologically equipped for migration. With all the rage in the social media focusing on hate and differences, we human beings will always adapt harmoniously, (respecting the law of the land) wherever we find ourselves settling down, making a home, raise a family in the little corner of the world. Live in gratitude to those who came before us and thrive.
I migrated out in early ’70s. This was before COFA. My children remained behind to make their life’s journey when I came back twenty years ago. Now my grandchildren are migrating away from their home state.
I suppose migration is evident that human beings need a place to breathe freely and grow as individuals.
My ancestors are made up of migratory explorers who sailed to these islands, following the stars, with curious minds. So are yours, I’m sure. Mine include a Portuguese, a Chinese, an English, Malaysian, Polynesian, and New Guinean. And who knows where their parents came from. Today I’m just a Palauan woman. And so it goes…
After two years of pandemic lock down, many feet are itching to go places, to explore and “…seek knowledge of life amidst its perils.” Is it a crisis? I doubt it.
Yes the world is wide! Go and find out. Be blessed!