They are us.

Senzenina is playing. In repeat. I have no particular attachment to the song. I just love the beats, the atmosphere it creates. In another time, in another mind set, I would have regarded it as a sad song. I would have related to it from a loss and heart ache point of view.

Now, its the equivalent of birds chirping to my world. A sound that accompanies peace. The background to a sunny village setting. The calm in an already calm environment.

My great grandma died this week. At 108 years of age. Or thereabouts. And I was shook. Not because I was close to her. But because I felt as if we lost a baobab tree in our family. And I couldn’t see a young baobab tree that would replace her.

And that worries me. A lot. The fact that since I was born, I’ve never seen a small baobab tree. Neither has my 60year old neighbour at home. They just don’t exist. The Chinese people keep cutting the ones they find on the way. Not knowing that in our culture, we don’t cut those ancestors of ours, we make corners for them, we include them in our compound landscaping. They are a part of us. But they don’t know that. So they cut them to make roads and railways.

I saw somewhere that small baobab trees aren’t there because they don’t look like the older trees. They come to later look like their older selves much later in life. That intrigued me. It gave me hope.

That maybe my great grandma isn’t finished. Just because there is none like her right now, doesn’t mean that one of us won’t rise to fill up her position. We just don’t look like her as of now.

And that gives me hope. Because I want to be like her. A baobab tree. A symbol of life. A root of life. The one from whom life stems from. The one who just is. The shelter. The strong yet soft one. The huge one that can live without water, yet is the water of life to the others around.

And as my year starts its last half, i’m floored. By life. And how much I’ve grown. But that statement feels like the understatement of the century. Not because of how common it is. But because it doesn’t capture the essence of what has happened.

Today is saba saba day. Will my fellow youth celebrate the day? Probably they don’t even know what saba saba day means. I’ve unfollowed someone who shared a sexist remark on Facebook.

Following and unfollowing. I wouldn’t know what saba saba day means if I hadn’t followed the right people. And following and unfollowing,both in social media and in my life has allowed me to have one of the most fulfilling years of my life.

I wanted to dream today. To plan on how to achieve my dreams. To imagine myself getting paid to write about baobabs. And how i’ll have reached if that happens. When that happens, i’ll be the most excited human being to ever write about acacias. I’ll make beatles the sexiest small animals you’ve ever heard about. You’ll never have imagined a more grand thing than river Congo. Or more interesting stories than of a river on fire.

But I decided not to. Because i’m living my dream. My outmost dream. To be myself. To just be. I am. I just am. And that shit is the most peaceful of feelings on earth. To be I am who I am. Whoever that is. Whatever that is. Is it a baobab tree that isn’t yet a baobab tree? Is it a baobab tree in its full glory? I don’t know. And I don’t care to know who or what I am. I just am.

Yesterday I was asked to name 5 most beautiful things. I forgot to mention my soul. Never encountered a more beautiful thing. When its not tortured that is. A tortured soul is hell. A soul that is free to express itself is heaven.

I love how 80% of my sentences begin with And. I love the feeling inside my heart right now. A feeling of love, contentment, rest, happiness, joy, excitement, relaxation, and of being, all at once. Its so tangible if you were around me I would place your hand on my chest, sure that you would feel it too. And its soo full.

I miss her. My Sunday muse. Not in a way of ‘ I am lacking something’ in life. But like a male ostrich dancing its dance. Talking of ostriches, I love my flaws. They make me laugh. Those genuine laughs that emanate from the heart and stay inside, lest I have to explain to anyone why i’m laughing so purely.

There is a cake a love. In a java we love. But I’ve never taken myself there. Because I don’t know where it is. Its the restaurant I’ve frequented most in the city. Yet I still don’t know where it is. I sat there the last time I was there. And laughed at myself. Those genuine laughters that require no outward expression. Because even with my sense of direction, I wouldn’t trade that part of me for a compass.

Anyway, back to ostriches, its an inside joke. Between myself and I. I made a remark yesterday, but I thought it misunderstood by the recipient. I came correcting it in my head. But its a little too late. Words are like birds. Once they fly away, you’ll never get that back. At least not in that instance.

If I continue writing, i’ll write forever. Because as much as I want, I can’t accurately express what i’m feeling right now. I hate attention. Or I thought I did. Until I found myself wearing a yellow neckpiece yesterday. And I loved how it expressed my soul’s position in that instance. Warmth. The kind of sun that doesn’t burn, but instead comforts.

I wanted to say something i’ll do. But I decided to be doing first, then say later. So i shut my mouth. And go research a bit more about baobabs. Who knows , there could be an image of a small one out there. And even if there isn’t, I know that just like my great grandma, we may not see them, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there, among us, with us, they are us.


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