Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To Mourn...

First, let me say that I believe I am not the only one who mourns. Everyone has something, and some may not even know what it is. They suffer with a heavy weight, a burden of pain that has very little hope of being relieved, especially because they don't know where their burden has stemmed from.
What I mourn is the loss of what I had, and the knowledge that it is no longer there. It is a completely different country, and I am a completely different person. The losses are huge and many. Loss of parents at a young age, loss of innocence at the same time. Loss of friendship, loss of my home, loss of a country. Loss of the hope that someday I could go back and things would be the same, because it is just not so. Were I to go back, it would simply be to see what was, once, and to find closure in seeing that it is no longer. To know with all of myself that I truly can never go back.
Africa gets into your blood, and it is in mine forever. The small things - red dust, African rain, woodsmoke in the quiet dawn of a small village, a newborn in a dark hut, the dramatic sky, the smell of a goat, puppy's breath, the music, the movements of people, the language, the tales... I could make a list of thousands of small things that all add up to *home*.
I miss it terribly. I miss the heat, making waves in the air over drought-dried earth. I miss the storms that always came, building and building in the sky, their breezes cooling the air, and then the pouring down of water, like God's bucket lost it's bottom right over us. I miss the dust that covered everything, turning our clothes and hair red like the earth. I miss the people, their amazing hospitality that I have never experienced anywhere else in the world. The way being a *person* is so important to their society. I miss greeting every person I see and having them smile from ear to ear and greet me back. I miss sleeping outside on our raised beds made of sticks, the huge sky with millions of stars, the breeze, the smell of Africa in my nose as I drift off to sleep. I miss the mornings, the low sleepy sounds of a village waking up, the pump squeaking as women draw their daily water, the thud, thud, thud of someone pounding grain, the lowing of cows, the cry of a baby, the crow of a rooster, the soft chatter of a family rising for a long day of simply surviving.
I miss the way everything would stop around noon and not begin again until around 3 - the hottest time of the day, and a time for people to huddle in groups over tea, or just crack peanuts and speak softly of everyday things. I miss the buzzing during that time, you know, when everything gets so quiet and still that you can hear the bugs and insects flying or munching on plants?
I miss the trees there, their wildness and bigness and beauty, so many living dancing things with their arms stretched high, inviting me up for a nice climb and a rest in their branches.
I miss it all, all of it. Home forever, in me, made me, changed me, loved me and I loved back.

1 comment:

  1. An African Evening.
    Sitting together in the cool of the evening light,
    a rise to crescendo beckon the sounds of the night…

    An African song brings family ties to the past,
    as firelight face-paints away the wrinkles that hold fast.
    The memories forth told of ancestors and their stories,
    child’s eyes all aglow with their heroics and glories.

    An echo of the drum beat brings forth joyful dancing,
    flute lends its harmonies to the voices enhancing.
    Celebration’s footsteps amidst shadows in the sand,
    bodily rhythm keeping time with clap of the hand.

    From the pot on the fire hungry hands gladly beckon,
    midst the laughter of children, men first, women second.
    To the contents of the earthenware fragranced by smoke,
    calabash and enamel pass from arms clothed in cloak.

    As the flames dance to sleep and the embers now aglow,
    children are restless and the tiredness begins to show.
    The party now retires with low voices calling farewell,
    families depart through darkness to homes where they dwell.