On the life cycle of tadpoles

Posted: July 16, 2008 in Blog

Standing ankle-deep in water at the local swimming hole, I was unprepared for a moment of self-reflection.

But, tonight, there it was. I was looking down into the shallow waters, searching for the scores of tadpoles that usually scatter whenever I set foot in the lake.

Alas, there were none to be found

At least initially. Because I then saw the evidence of time passing by when I spotted a handful of plump tadpoles swimming along lazily.

These were no svelte, spry tadpoles exploring their new world. No, these were well-fed bruisers who looked a day or two away from stepping onto dry land.

There I was in the water, sun setting behind me, staring at my feet and thinking about what it means to have been living in one place long enough to witness a pile of tadpoles reach maturity.

A less than profound mental image, I know.

If you had asked me a year ago, when I was packing my bags for Uganda, where I saw myself in one year I probably wouldn’t have said “Standing ankle deep in a Quebec lake staring at fat tadpoles and wondering what it all means.”

But whaddya know, there I was.

And here I am.

These last couple months have been unpredictable, busy, fun and perplexing. Usually all at the same time. I’ve taken on a job covering Canada for the UK paper the Financial Times and have found a great chalet overlooking ski hills and near a lake and waterfalls and hiking that has given me plenty of exploring to do as I try to keep myself distracted.

The transition has been smooth enough, though I miss Uganda terribly. Nearly every person I’ve met who has lived in Uganda eventually goes back and I wouldn’t be surprised if I counted myself in that group someday.

Unpacking in my new home took at least twice as long as it should have. I was enjoying all the things I brought back with me from East Africa and Europe, while also digging through boxes that had been in storage for the better part of a year and rediscovering all the things I’d forgotten about. Each book I pulled from the boxes seemed so far away that it was new again.

And so here I am, surrounded by old and new, doing exactly what I wrote about at the end of this post in Stockholm– taking a breather at a bend in the road, wondering where I’ll find myself next.

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