People are always aghast when I inform them that on any given day, weekends included, I find myself awake and very much alive at around 6 or 6:30am. Even Kenyans that I meet are confused by this, as I have been told by many they are unable to function without their first cup of chai. Well this morning, as I write this entry sitting out on my front porch, I am reminded of such worms us early birds are lucky to catch.
The sun is just waking up with me. Turning on the coffee pot, it’s still dark. The temperature, though not cool, is most certainly comfortable, such that the humidity wraps you in a comfortable blanket; a strong sense of closeness, opposed to later in the day when it acts more the oppressor. Mornings during the Mombasa summer are still a friendly time, reminding you of what other times of the year are like before being obliged to throttle up the thermostat into unbearable.
The clouds of the morning are always my favorite. Maybe they are like this back home; maybe I have been blind to the splendor of early morning sunshine mixing with the clouds of New England, or maybe not. Tones start off somber, it being a rare morning to wake up to the striking reds of which back home would, “sailors take warn.” Light browns, grays, yellows paint the clouds: the mood ring of a Zen master I can only assume. But soon enough, in key with my awakening, the reds do come out. Small pockets only. Crevasses hint at the early morning energy. Valleys between two monolithic clouds awash, ablaze. I am up Nature she says. And then, the nervousness, the anxiety of the wedding-day bride set aside, she doffs her white veil and presents herself. One would clap at the performance; birds beat their wings, monkeys chatter in excitement.
Every so often, once in a lucky morning, we are blessed with a rejuvenating shower. These are not the long rains or short rains that water the crops, no. This is more the vanity of Nature coming out. The grocer spritzing his vegetables to make them glisten: added appeal. “Sure my tomatoes are beautiful, but look at them now,” as he sprays. One must confess, such tactics work. Yet it’s a learned behavior we imitate. Nature rejuvenates us this morning with a sun shower. Not a cloud overhead, only blue sky, yet the softest rain. Making not a sound, it keeps the air cool, satiates her vanity. “I am pretty now, we can begin.”
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