There are moments that are perfect. And this right here is one of them. And it’s so weird, to get this feeling inside there, that this moment, this feeling, this everything, is what heaven feels like for me. And so I look around and wonder what makes this a little more special than yesterday or even hours ago, like what has made this heavenly?
There is the music. Benga. Or is it Congolese music? I don’t know what those old songs sang by Congolese people in their language with a sprinkling of kiswahili, are called. But there is something about this kind of music that steals my breath. Something about it that awakens the chilled old version of myself and appeases her. There is something about listening to songs my grandfather danced to, and enjoying them immensely too.
It could be because something about these songs, takes my heart to all it’s favorite places. The first time, and most times, I heard Benga, Taarab and lingala music, was when travelling. Especially in those big buses to coast. At night. That’s just bliss in one sentence. Sitting next to a window as a child, watching stars, and sometimes a moon, while we zoom by savanna vegetation that looks eerily calm at night. With the occasional shrub looking taller than it usually is. The only sounds being of the bus moving, people sleeping and the night outside, keeping watch over it’s little travellers. Those moments, made such an impression on my small mind, that I can taste how they felt like in my mouth right now. That feeling of being alive, or being fully alive, but not in a charged way, not in the getting on tables to dance kind of way, in a cool ocean breeze kind of way, in a moon kind of way..in a way only my soul can explain.
And as my neighbors playlist takes a detour to South Africa, to Mama Africa, the birds outside are quieter. I know they are there, because my mornings here are full of their chirping.
And maybe that’s the thing with this moment. That it’s not about the things I can now see or feel. That it’s for all the ones that came before it and made this moment possible. That it’s for all the Mercys I’ve been, to get me to this point.
And as the darkness approaches, I know the mountains outside will transform from this imposing beauties they usually are during the day, to this shy little gods with little lights doted around them in the darkness. At night, they feel as if they have also rested. From being human being’s landmark. From being rainfall holders/bringers. From being human settlements. From being hiking centers. From being gawked at. At night, they go back to obliviousness. Where no one is looking at them. Where they can wink at each other. Where they can sigh. Where they can drop off the cloak of work, and lie naked, as the moon baths them and rejuvenates them, before the scorching sun comes to overwork them again.
I don’t know what makes this moment so pristine.
Maybe it’s because in January, I sat on a therapist’s chair, and she asked me what I wanted. I gave a seemingly vague answer. Yet that’s the most clarity I had. And a few months down the line, what I wanted, in its own weird vague and ambiguous way, is unfolding. In the most beautiful ways possible.
Vague and ambiguous. Maybe I shouldn’t run away from describing myself as those two little words. Because technically speaking, nothing ever adds up when asked to describe myself. I am a little bag of contradictions. And a sea of many things. I am. A lot of things. Different and similar things. I can never explain how I got here, but I do know where I’m headed. Just not the details.
And as the night unfolds, the noise comes back. Of these insects that I had always associated with shags. I hear people say their shags are quiet at night. And I can never relate. Our shags has these insects I have never seen that make so much noise at night. But it’s not the noise that would prevent you from hearing tiny footsteps outside. It’s not one that would prevent you from getting sleep. It’s a quiet kind of noise. That’s there. That blends in with the night. You can hear it if you chose to, or you could go back into your mind, and not hear it. It’s like you can choose to hear it or not. Yet it’s very loud. But not loud enough to be noisy. I don’t know at this point whether I’m describing it as I should. But there is something about it that calms my soul. That takes me back to the universe. To where my soul came from. That I am part of something that’s not about me. That just like those invisible insects, I am just another weird element of this planet.
Still wondering on what makes this moment so heavenly, is the realization, that I am on the road to achieving my dreams. Those same dreams that are vague, ambiguous, huge, scary, exciting, and that sometimes change with seasons. I can see them coming to pass. Not what I think of them in specifics, but that feeling I got a few hours ago, when I finished something I had set to finish today. It felt good. Like I had earned my keep. In a nice soothing way. It’s like finding your vocation. I remember reading somewhere about the years Jesus spent as a carpenter. The author of that book was implying that there is honour in working. According to him, those years that the Bible didn’t talk about Jesus, those years he spent with a saw, hammer and nails, those ones were the most important, because we spend our lives working, than performing miracles or whatever the equivalent that is for us. That stuck with me. And as I do work that pleases my heart, as I look back into my creation and think, That is Good, as I contemplate how I shall eat my proceeds from that, I realise, that my soul was made for this. I am home. In myself.