Well, really, I’ve been packing for weeks. I know the guys are going to throw a few things in a bag the night before, but I’m a girl so I have to Plan. It will be hot during the day in Saigon and pleasant at night. The night time temperature in Saigon will be the daytime temp in Hanoi. We will walk, ride, fly, climb, work, swim, dine, visit … and it will probably rain. I will have one medium-sized bag and part of it will contain gifts.
So I comb websites. I order things. I send things back. I audition my wardrobe. (I don’t like to admit this but I talk to the closet: “OK, who wants to come? You have to be versatile, professional, light, washable, comfortable in multiple conditions. Anybody?”) Of course, all of this drama is only the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual angst. What am I packing, really?
Early February. One of the most powerful times of the year in many cultures. It is Imbolc (Celtic spring), Brigit’s Day, Candlemas, Presentation in the Temple, Groundhog Day. (Don’t laugh at that last one, even if it makes you think of Bill Murray. Earth divination is common at this time.) In Asia it is Lunar New Year, which, in Viet Nam, is called Tet. (more…)