After Billy and I got married on Maui in 1999, we took a year off and back packed “around the world.” For both of us, our four months spent driving and camping from South Africa to Kenya (11 countries, 14 game parks, and 12,ooo miles on some of the bumpiest roads Iʻve ever been on) in a truck with a pop up tent on the top was the highlight. They will let any bozo into an African game park without a guide, gun, or much common sense (lots of “stupid American” stories were told to us!). You get more instruction at Space Mountain in Disney than you do going into a game park where you are navigating between migrating herds of Wildebeest and dodging angry elephants.
So here we were, on an adventure of a lifetime and so many people who were so concerned about what our Y2K plans were going to be. We werenʻt certain, but I wanted it to be something special, for sure! (Like traveling around the world for a year isnʻt special enough???) As we made our way from Malawi into Tanzania after Christmas, Billy was really not feeling well. He had no interest in talking about our Y2K plans, as his stomach was riddled with all kinds of worms and parasites (which we didnʻt know yet.) Poor me. I was stuck with a sick husband in the middle of the bush feeling dusty, dirty, and disappointed that my Y2K celebration was starting to look like it would be nonexistent.
So, on New Years Eve, as we were looking for a place to park our Landy (Land Rover) for the night, we stumbled across a dank motel outside of a small National Park, called Mikumi. There were seven rooms at this well worn motel and there was only one room left--as a van of Brits had made reservations a year in advance to spend Y2K there! AND, as there was only one room with air conditioning which the manager gave to us as he didnʻt want there to be an all out brawl between the Brits. Happy, the well suited name of the very happy hostess, showed us to our room. We were thrilled to have a shower and to soak in the luxury of air-conditioning (did I mention it was Africa HOT in Africa in the summer and our carʻs air-conditioning was non existent??)
So even though I wasnʻt going to be whooping it up on Y2K, I was feeling pretty satisfied with where we ended up. Billy was asleep before 8:00 p.m. and I dozed off for a bit…before I was awoken by the annoying sound of a drum that seemed to be playing right outside my window. I was not a happy camper. My visions of a good night sleep with an air conditioner was quickly starting to evaporate as the drum continued to play…and then was joined by a few more drums! I was not pleased and put my clothes on to go out to complain to Happy and the manager. My idea of the perfect evening was ruined!!
SO, as I made my way out the door, I was quite surprised to see about 50 of the villagers from down the road gathering and listening to “music.” At that moment, I saw Happy, gaily skipping over to me. Before I could say anything, she grabbed me by both hands and indicated that she wanted me to start dancing with her. Her smile and energy were contagious. My anger melted away as we started moving to the beat of the drummers. Then, the Brits joined in! Before we knew it, another 50 villagers showed up who also started dancing. Happy wouldnʻt let me out of her site the rest of the night. We danced till midnight and then drank some champagne the Brits had brought. I was so present in those moments. SO aware of where I was, listening to the African songs and the rhythm of the beating drums, dancing under the stars, while whooping it up and yelling out my Carlita Jones Mexican cat calls. The women were dressed in brand new brightly colored sarongs that they had bought for the festivities. Their exuberance for the dancing and singing left me in awe. The children ran in between the dancers giggling with delight. The vibration of everyoneʻs energy was off the richter scale. I wished my husband was well enough to be with me, but felt grateful that he could get some much needed rest.
I felt grateful that I had let go of my attachment of my idea of what the perfect Y2K should look like. It is a moment in time I will never forget. What the universe provided for me WAS the perfect way to bring in the new millennium. I could have never planned it to match up to what actually transpired. I remind myself of that evening whenever I get fixated on wanting things to be a certain way. I try my best to let go of the attachment of needing to know how things will turn out.
So, let go of your attachments of needing to know how things will be. Have faith that things will fall into place exactly how they should. Accept and live in the moment…making it beautiful.