I remember a midnight bush ride. Bouncing in the back of a vehicle, shining an arc lamp into the dense trees, stealing myself for a view of something other worldly. I got my wish when bush baby eyes stared back at me, and as the light beam passed, so did she. Legs scurried in the undergrowth. We heard them, so we stopped, turned down the light, and listened as the leaves crinkled with the dying heat, and somewhere a bird screeched.
I miss Africa. I miss the hair on my arms rising to a primordial sound. I miss eating fruit from the trees and wondering if it will mean a night with tummy cramps or a night feeling exotic and far away from home and overwhelmingly free. Strangely, I miss the drums of settlements, of women walking along high ridges at dawn, making their way to fields and crops and hard labour for the day, yet singing an awake lullaby.
I remember the roadside markets at night, lit with kerosene lamps, making a road brighter than bright. Twinkly, like Christmas, but smelling of mangoes and bananas, and children running around free in the cool and dust, laughing, not noticing they were poor.
So I am glad of the drying grass and the wink of the veld and the memory of a distant home.