The Beauty of The World
Sunrise. I watch it from my bed. A golden-red, enormous African sun comes creeping up over the blue-green hills, around it a ring of orange, yellow, pink, and then the blue, blue sky. The world is lit up within minutes. The twinkling stars have hidden for the day, allowing the sun to revel in her glory. The moon, realising it is time to go, slowly, reluctantly hides her face.
I rise and run downstairs; the cold, marble floors are a welcome shock to warm feet. The kitchen sizzles, bacon and sausages fry happily in the pan, spitting at anyone who dares to come too close. Only Gichuki can get way with it: the skilled and laughing man cooks happily to his heart’s content, adding aubergines and tomatoes to the already crowded pan.
Outside a table is laid for four, with cold lemon juice, tea and milk lie, waiting to be drunk in the centre of it. Sitting around already are a young man of about seventeen, eating a mango and reading his book, a small girl of three, sucking the juice out of an over-ripe tangerine with a hole in it, and an old, old woman, recently widowed, whose only consolations are her three grand-children.
I walk out to join them and am greeted by smiling faces and yapping dogs at my feet. Down below the veranda I see a small herd of elephants coming for a drink and maybe a splash in the water hole. I heave a happy, happy sigh and take my seat.
The day that follows is filled with sunshine. The market is buzzing with shouts, laughs and boasting old mamas comparing delicious, ripe bananas. Vibrant colours meet my eye wherever you look. The hot earth warms the soles of my feet through worn, leather flip-flops.
A visit to the village school is welcomed with the huge smiles, wide eyes, screams and shouts of overjoyed children. The afternoon spent on horseback is just as happy and even more exciting, galloping up a long succession of hills, over fallen logs, through shaded valleys and dams, checking fences and livestock with a laughing older brother. The impalas and other gazelles watch us ride from behind small acacia-tree clumps, leaping away in graceful arches when we get too close.
A delicious dinner of beans and stew in the dining room awaits us that evening. The sun has finished her journey through the sky and the stars and moon are back in all their glory. Bath and bed are welcomed after the day’s course. I smile as I drift to sleep, looking forward to whatever tomorrow may bring.