melancholy

In a short while, it creeps into your mind and heart and stays, then it flows in your blood infecting every cell and inch of your being, forever. Like a drug you need to revisit, again and again, and yet, we try to give it up……., cast it aside and move on.

That’s Africa.


Did you try? I too often crave this cure to set my mind at ease. De-stress , visit, let her see we have not forgotten how life was south of the equator. We are in good company it seems, you and I, as in the past and so too today, it evokes poignant memories shared by many authors:
Baroness Blixen wrote; “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills…” from her book, Out of Africa.
Kuki Gallman wrote; “I dreamed of Africa.”,her memoirs of time spent there.
Ben Berman wrote a poem; “Last night I dreamed of returning to Zimbabwe”, one of many.
***********************************************************************
Midday, and outside the back door lies a discarded bucket of soapy water recently used to wash floors. The mop has congealed in the sunshine. Parched lawns, which have been neatly trimmed spread out towards the green leafy shrubbery along a boundary wall. Searing heat rises from the concrete pathway that runs around the house and past the wide open kitchen windows, allowing flies access to come and go. Any little breeze is welcome. Sergeant, our bull mastiff slobbers as he slumbers with one eye half open under the kitchen table on cool ceramic tiles.

Miriam moves lethargically between the sink and a pot of stew on her large plump bare feet, humming some tribal chant passed down through generations. She removes a small saucepan from the heat which smells of burnt pap, exactly how she likes it, then stirs curry powder into greasy stewed chicken.
Through a serving hatch at one end of the kitchen is the dining table on which stands a can of Mr. Min polish and a few dusters. The vacuum cleaner pipe lazes on the carpet in the lounge where the shiny dining chairs stand in a row. Down the passage which leads to the bedrooms lie two neat piles of unwashed laundry on the floor.

A car door slams in the driveway. Miriam knows instinctively by the sound of the footfall and possibly the rustle of Checkers bags that I have arrived.
“Miriam, my friends will be here by one o’clock!” I say, as I observe the stages of the work in progress at a glance, while she continues to pensively stir her stew.
“Eh, yes Medem.” She throws a smile of even white teeth at me.
I shrug. This is Africa time.

And it is lunchtime!

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About liz2you

Life just happens when you plan something else. 50 years spent in Africa and relevant stories.
This entry was posted in Life, this is home in Africa, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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