The cool, post-rain mountain breeze woke me from my catnap. As I listened to Brett Dennen shuffle through my iPod, I started to look at the lush green jungle around me. I’ve made the trip from Accra to Koforidua quite a few times and the mountainous scenery never ceases to amaze me. However, this trip I was greeted with the sun setting over the mountains with a multitude of rays shining through rain-filled clouds. When I saw this my thoughts were immediately paused and I gave in to only what was in front of me, fully appreciating the serenity and stillness in time.
The past few weeks have been emotionally trying with big decisions weighing on my mind; decisions that have to be made soon and ones that affect every aspect of my personal and professional life. It’s easy to get wrapped up in thoughts of “what’s next” especially coming from an American culture so obsessed with plans and careers and climbing corporate ladders. These thoughts can consume all your attention and energy leaving you fatigued, confused and anxious. During my beautiful rides across Ghana I find myself thinking of the future, a future that can’t be planned during that exact moment. My mind slipped from the beauty to thoughts of plans and jobs and the logistics associated with those decisions.
The light rain coming through the tro windows snapped me back to the present. Meditation comes in all shapes and sizes but the benefit is the same. I decided on that day to turn my numerous tro rides into a form of meditation, focusing my mind on the present. Being still and taking in the sights, smells and sounds around me allowed me to quiet my mind but also take mental photos and notes of my time in Ghana. In 6 months from now it won’t matter how much I fretted over my job but I will remember the cool mountain air, vast green mountains, children escaping bath time and the smiles and generosity of Ghanaians.
Gena Perry received a bachelors and masters degree in Agribusiness from the University of Georgia. Before becoming an AgriCorps Member, Gena studied agriculture in Tanzania and Taiwan and worked for an agricultural marketing agency.