Kenyan Breeze

Last week I began to discuss being people of peace in the midst of a world of violence, stemming from having heard about the attack on a Nairobi mall on International Prayer for Peace Sunday. I shared that this got at my heart because of our experience hosting an exchange student in our home from Kenya. I want to return to the question of being people of peace, but before I do I’d like to share with you a poem I wrote remembering this short year of blessing with our exchange student.

 This experience was such a gift, and reminded me how interconnected we all are. It opened up my heart in a lot of ways that really matter, and reminded me how small the world is in the big scheme of things.

And I’m not just whistling Dixie here,

your progressive redneck preacher,



Kenyan Breeze

You came into our life

unbidden as a cool breeze in August

as unexpected as snowfall on a march Morning

yet just as refreshingly welcome.


You came,

as full of life

as momma’s garden

alive with ripe tomatoes, cucumber, and dill

with ladybugs crawling and dragonflies dancing.


Yet the life about you most resembles

the fireflies of autumn

that make music with their twinkling lights

shining around me like the circling fairies of children’s tales.


So you came, shining with your own bright glory,

beautiful as an ocean wave

and your time with us just as fleeting.


I would not trade that moment

anymore than the moment when

the salty waves cover me with their embrace

announcing even after through my damply dripping hair

I am loved

a child of God’s creating

inviting me to endless joy

even though it fades so quickly.


And so, sweet African princess,

your sojourn in our family

though short, will not be forgotten

not until I forget the dance of morning sunlight on the waters

of my uncle’s pond or

the cry of the katydid and kricket

in grandma’s field,

nor til I no longer know of

the sparkling whiteness of fresh plucked cotton.


Know a place always remains for you

in our Cackalackee home

and in our humble hearts.


May your life ever shine

with the same beauty

your presence that August day blew into our life.


One thought on “Kenyan Breeze

  1. says:

    what a wonderful tribute to your time together!

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