Friday, August 24, 2012


this picture is one of my favorites of us.
I twist my green bike around the corner and out the front door of my apartment.  It folds neatly into the elevator and I follow behind.  I pick it up over the stairs in the lobby and awkwardly roll out the front door.  As the heavy glass door closes behind me, I catch my breath for a second - the air feels cooler, is this fall?

The face of my watch catches the back of my pink garden/bike glove and I pull it down and over the fabric so I can better see it to time my ride.  Coasting down the street, the Washington National Cathedral lights up with morning sunshine ahead of me.  I try and hold on to this minute - September is almost here to be followed by October to be followed by November.  The days are passing and I find living in the present difficult when I am so anxiously awaiting Abdoulaye's arrival.

When people complain that the weekend is too short, I excitedly think that another week has passed.  When people say the time is flying, I quickly agree and bite my tongue to prevent myself from saying 'I wish it moved faster!'  When people lament the end of summer and the transition to fall, which means winter isn't far away, I smile inside thinking it means we're that much closer to when Abdoulaye will be here.

This long-distance thing is hard - though not impossible.  I love waking up and seeing an email or a text or a facebook message from the man pictured above.  I am thrilled to share the mundane details of my day with his eager ears on Skype and listen to how he has spent his day or what he has cooked for dinner.  I love listening to Abdoulaye's English, which gets better every time we talk.  I remind myself that other couples have it much harder and I need to keep my perspective straight.

There's a blessing or a saying for everything in West Africa.   One of my favorite Bambara blessings is k'an kelen kelen wuli - may we wake up one by one (because if we all woke up at once, that would mean something bad had happened!).  Abdoulaye recently shared another saying with me, one that I've taped next to my door and that I read each morning before pulling my bike out of the apartment building to roll through the streets of Washington, DC.  It's a saying in his native language, Susu; Lokhe bou xi mou na - there's no day that will not arrive.  

So here I am with my green bike propped next to a silent radiator, poorly hung curtains slouching like curtseying sacks of potatoes and a stack of school books sitting next to me waiting to be quoted for a paper due yesterday.  The time is passing, the seasons will soon change.  I am practicing patience as best I know how, and each day brings me a little closer to having Abdoulaye here.  While the chill is gone from the air by 9 a.m. and fall won't be here for another month, I still can't wait for Abdoulaye to get here.  I can hardly wait for that day to arrive.     


  1. a good reminder to us all. you guys are strong and inspiring!

  2. Beautifully written. Reminded me of my long-distance relationship days. Indeed, there is no day that will not arrive. Love you, baby cuz!

  3. being apart will make your relationship stronger -- not just a thing to say as a silver lining in a long-distance relationship, but the truth, i've found. luckily, it shouldn't be too much longer!


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