The emptiness of the past seven days seem to be coming to a close. Day eight on Hadrian’s Wall has me seeing more villages, surface streets, even my first highway since day one. Mid-morning finds myself in the village of Eden, just as beautiful a place as the name itself implies. I’m inexplicably pulled towards an old Parish church.
It’s early for me to stop and have lunch, but I can not deny the nagging in my soul to be here. I quietly pass through the rusty gate and into the ancient and consecrated graveyard. I have the entire grounds to myself.
I think back to January 2nd, 2015. I had just boarded a plane, having spent the New Year in Savannah, Georgia, ironically visiting ancient graveyards. Yet my mind was in a dark turmoil. As the flight attendant makes the announcement that it is ok to use electronic devices, I open up my email and type a single line…
“Today will be my last day with Build.Create.Kenya.”
I push send, and effectively end my relationship with the non-profit organization that had been the proverbial center of my life over the last six years, an organization I helped to create. I probably owed it my co-founders to give a more detailed explanation for my abrupt departure, but I could barely control my hands to type just the one line.
I was full of impending dread. The company I was working for was struggling, and went bankrupt and closed the doors of employment in April. My mind foresaw this, and knew that if I was going to be looking for a new job, I could not also continue my non-profit work, bleeding out my personal funds to help with another expedition to Kenya.
BCK was in trouble as well. The four of us that started the non-profit were the best of friends, yet not the best co-workers. Internal strife and bickering, combined with (in my mind) shady financial practices led me to my quick departure.
I’m not good at confrontation, and so I choose the quick and cowardly way out through a single email sent on a plane. I got two responses back, neither of which were very kind. None of us have spoken since that fateful day.
As I sat eating an early lunch under the shade of this ancient 16th century church in Eden, England I found that confronting this rough time in my time helped me to forgive myself for my actions.
I kneeled and prayed in the soft grass.
I walked slowly, letting my hands caress the stone grave markers of those that have passed on.
The guilt I have been carrying all this time was slowly washing away. It’s so cliche, but all things do happen for a reason.
It was here that I realized that all actions before led me directly to where I was at this moment.
To a place of peace and reconciliation. I’m sorry for how I ended things with BCK and the close bonds I had with those around our little non-profit.
I was ready to continue walking forward, both literally and metaphorically.