Jan 4, 2014

An African Greeting and A Small Emily Dickinson Gem

Wood Storks, Northern Florida
Somewhere, years ago, I heard of a greeting that was common somewhere in Africa. Instead of settling for "Hello," the first human says, "I see you." And the other replies, "I am here."

"I see you."

"I am here."

I find something wonderful about that--what it says might be everything. But the exchange also calmly recognizes all that cannot be expressed.

Can anyone give me more information? Is it in fact an African greeting? Where in Africa? (I think I heard it was South African). Has there been a lot of commentary about it? It seems to me there might be, yet I haven't heard the words in more than a decade.

Southern Ontario

Loxahatchee NWR, Florida
Suburban Detroit park
Suburban Detroit park

And thanks once more to the Poetry Foundation, this time for its Dec. 31, 2013 daily poem, a brief Emily Dickinson gem. It's new to me and feels a bit like the tone and feeling in the African greeting. Doesn't it?  How would you explain the similarity? Or do you not agree there is one?

It's all I have to bring today-- 
This, and my heart beside-- 
This, and my heart, and all the fields-- 
And all the meadows wide-- 
Be sure you count--should I forget 
Some one the sum could tell-- 
This, and my heart, and all the Bees 
Which in the Clover dwell.

St. Augustine Beach, Florida

Happy New Year.


Jean Spitzer said...

Happy new year.

Such beautiful photos. Specially like the lifts one and the last couple.

Don't know about the African greeting, but agree it has a good feeling. The namaste salutation is close to the first part of the greeting.

Banjo52 said...

Hannah and Jean, thank you. Same to you.

Lovers' Lane