Lunch with Samantha

rosemary chicken in thick tomato soup and rice boiled with peas

rosemary chicken in thick tomato soup and rice boiled with peas

Have you met someone who makes you feel absolutely amazing about who you are and what you have? I finally did. Again. If there is anything I have come to learn to stop taking for granted, it is the presence of wonderful people around me over the past couple of years. I took this for granted until I once had an epiphany. I was seated at a fast food joint somewhere in Nairobi with a couple of new friends in the poetry and writing circles when I stopped to listed to the laughter and arguing and debating. I was finally starting to feel perfectly happy for several minutes and hours at a time.

I made a friend out of an acquaintance some weeks ago. We now work in the same office, although for different companies, and have a few mutual friends from work and in the music and poetry and writing circles. When she walked into my little “studio apartment” yesterday, Samantha literally squealed with excitement over what I had done with the space. And she would not stop for several minutes.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe that a compliment is genuine until I have real proof that it is. Or until I have been told over and over – without, of course, getting annoyed by the repetitiveness. However, if the compliment comes from a man. I will usually assume that he is just being fresh. Should I hear the same thing from three other men, I will likely believe it to be true. Unless they’re brothers. Or friends. You get my point.

Sam ate the lunch I’d made and asked for seconds and thirds. This morning, she said she’d woken up thinking about the same meal. I packed the large batch that was left in my saucepans and brought it to the office to share with everyone else. The other thing about me is that I love cooking for people. I take time to prepare and cook myself an amazing meal from time to time, but the real joy for me is in cooking a lovely meal for several people – close friends are a personal favourite – and watching people go for more or ask to take some home with them.

Lunch with Samantha got me thinking about the things I love to do and am actually good at. One of those was (and still is) singing. I’m not claiming to sound like Sarah Brightman, but I can do the old hymns a lot of justice. If all goes well, I should be joining an old friend at the Mater Hospital this coming Wednesday for a bit of singing around the wards. I think it’s time to give more time to the things I love to do, because nothing beats that sense of fulfillment and completion that comes with pursuing what speaks to your spirit. Also, I’m craving some of that perfect happiness I have started to experience a little less lately.


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