Thursday, January 28, 2010

ngorobob summer


i think you know everything about the hill now. well nearly everything. almost.

how the winds scream off kilimanjaro in the winter, the droughts, how the rain batters the little pink house in the summer so i have to run in between the attic windows with buckets and a cold box to catch the leaks which change depending on the direction of the wind; the black jagged mountain, the horses and the angle of the moon, how she slides over the hill, dragging the stars behind her. the rainbows. . . the flies. . .the moon on the warm flag stones in the courtyard.

yes. i think you nearly know it all by now. how it becomes unbearably hot between the short rains and the long rains. the still nights twinkling with crickets. and the barely perceptible wind-
its warm fingers twirling the end of your hair, touching your sweaty cheek, and ruffling the horse's mane. when its so hot it's best to ride after six, gallop up Bakers Hill, and watch the ember glow of a day way below you. the world spinning all around you. and i can be queen of the castle and you're the dirty rotten bah and humbug rascal. and all you can do is sigh.


but what you don't know is that lucas, our neighbour, the man with the long maize field next to our shamba (small plot of land) said that our horses had been eating his maize. no they haven't, i said. oh yes they have, he said. only one way to find out. let's ask mwali, the groom. he says of course it wasn't our horses, it was mzee william's cows. mzee william said of course it wasn't his cows. it was your horses, lucas insisted. i saw their tracks and their droppings, lucas said. well. maybe, i mused watching a bee in the lavender, but maybe it was the donkeys from the bottom of the hill? maybe? you never know. and you don't know that the little colt has been broken in and i have ridden him.

what you don't know is that different mosquitoes give you different itchies. no two are the same. you'll see.

what you don't know is that this evening in the late twilight, i found a little glow worm in between the cracks in the wall, blinking under an almost full moon in the courtyard and i still think they're magic and want to sleep in a jar ( a very large one, of course) full of them. weird, i know. "just put your feet down, child, because you're all grown up now," i hear in my head.

what you don't know is that sometimes i feel i could burst out of my skin and leave it blowing in the wind. and be gone in a flash. in a breath. i feel that alive.

and that's a fact.
toodely toot, y'all, and bisous X.X.X. warm flagstones under the summer moon ones. hooah. x j













20 comments:

ewix said...

Gosh, I do hope all this is resolved sensibly!
Makes urban life look pretty dull!

ewix said...

ps tell Safari Craig to stop by to say hi
c/o elizabethwix@hotmail.com

Bill Stankus said...

It seems so reasonable to have multiple definitions of weather, to be in disagreement with neighbors because of animals and crops ... you realize none of it is real, just figments of my imagination. Blowing in the wind ...

Reya Mellicker said...

Reading this, I feel all of a sudden much more alive than I was five minutes ago.

I didn't know that about mosquitoes. I knew the itches were different, but didn't know why.

In fact there was a bunch of stuff I didn't know until now. Thank you.

Karen said...

This is just beautiful. Thank you!

Mud in the City said...

Lovely. How dull the world must be to people who can't see the beauty in the details.

Admittedly, a grey, rainy, cold, dank, wintry London isn't quite in the same league. But seeing the little lights on the bridge reflecting on the water of the Thames last night reminded me to take joy in these little things.

Dumdad said...

There is poetry in your prose, as ever. I sit back in my basement computer room in a Paris banlieue and gawp in awe and admiration and feel the heat and smell the smells of your exotic country.

Here in Paris, it is wet and grey and damp and the spirit seeps away down the drain with the rainwater.

Still, c'est la vie!

P.S. I deleted previous comment to correct spelling mistake. Old habits die hard.

Miranda said...

Mzee Williams cows (and donkeys) come and eat the plants in our garden. And his cat comes in and pisses on our sofa.

Janelle said...

hey elizabeth...head in sand re horses and maize. sensible enough?? think safari craig has left NYC already...THINK...and we all know what thought did eh?? but THANKS. xxx

bill, thanks for swining by. its all real enough, no? x j

hey reya...mozzies...know this from close observation and first had experience. infesetation here. almost air lifted to bed in the evenings...then spend hours wacking myself on the ears...constant whine...oooergh. xxx

thank you karen. x j

and mud, yes i can see those little twinkly lights all crispy wintery fairy like. YES! beautiful! xxx j

hey DD...aw. thanks for letting me know it was you who deleted. it DOES leave one wondering...! x j

mo, kill the cat. kill the cat...bastard. xx j

Val said...

that colt is awesome!! i love those appaloosas. hope you get the mealie infringement sorted. love the magic and fireflies - great stuff. thanks xx

Chimera said...

Damn girl you are good! The photos blow my mine (this and previous posts!) but mostlyit is your scrumptious edible delightful powerful prose. It gets under MY skin honey!!!
T xxx

connie said...

Just love this writing...thank you for sharing your life and gift.

Nancy said...

I suddenly realized by the end of this post that my mouth was hanging open. Lost, I was, in the words and feeling of being far, far away in a distant land.

Janelle said...

val, tanvi, connie and nancy ...THANK YOU! actually i caught mzee williams cows DEEP in the mealies on sunday..its SO obvious who's been eatin' em.... X j

Lori ann said...

i do know there is NO one else in the world like you. beautiful janelli. i love your summer.
♥ you

Ladybird World Mother said...

Wow. Your summer is the total opposite to my winter... can I get in that jar with you and gaze at the view? Am so cold here!

Janelle said...

karibu sana ladybug mama! x j

aw and thanks lori...love you too darlin'. xx j

reluctantmemsahib said...

beautiful words. brilliant. and i so what you mean about the uniqueness of every mozzi bite ... x

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