I woke up the other day with a crystal clear image Africa, and my mom.
First thing in the morning I turned on my computer, and wrote it down for her in an email... I share:
So I had this dream the other day when I was taking a nap and I am elaborating on it a little here:
You were living in Africa with C. I was a little older, and us "kids" were taking turns going to visit you at your new place there. I was the first one to go and you were so excited!
You picked me up from a dusty airport in little cargo shorts all tan and tiny like you are, and wearing a straw cowgirl hat, your long hair was braided loose with pieces that fell out and framed your familiar face and the same blue eyes we share.
You arrived in a jeep and were clearly more prepared for what to wear then I. You had these boots on (Remember when I was little you had these walking boots? And giant white fluffy socks that rumpled up around your ankle?) and a jean front button up vest type shirt... sleeveless (again I am SURE you had something like this at some point because I can see this outfit SO clearly lol) You are all smiles and calling me Bridgie.
Brown clings to my black Doc Martin type shoes, jeans, black concert T with black blazer (apparently in my dreamland hailing from NY means I mostly wear black now LOL) as the wind kicks up dirt dirt and more dirt. I look up to find you and first see giant birds. I have never seen birds that color or size before in a tree that seems so small and so weak I am shocked it can hold the birds’ weight!
There are several utility vehicles there picking up their peeps and your jeep is off to the side and a green/brown color with giant wheels a roll bar and big flood spot lights.
We run, hop and jump with excitement to see each other and you give me a big ol’ hug.
You smell like you, like the perfume I used to spray on my jacket before school and wet dirt.. it might rain soon.. you tell me it’s been scattered showers the past few days now. Shouting over the rumbling sounds of the airport behind us you say “common!” and pick up my bag and toss it in the back of the jeep. I wait to see how you’ll climb in and follow your lead.
The jeep has a loud grumble as you bring it to life and we jostle about in the front seats. You shout out random sights to me and point in the direction you want me to look. I can kiiiiinda make out most of what you say.. but some of the time I just look… squint… and then nod and smile back at you “yes.. that IS neat!” having no clue what is way out there you are so jazzed about, but it makes me smile to see how familiar you have made yourself with your surroundings here, and how happy you are to show me all of it!
The view around us is vast and flat. The sky above has bursts of light blue sky but has dark gray and purple clouds moving and covering them quickly as they roll around the sky above.
Unlike the ocean it is easy to see where sky meets the gold fields of tall (what I call “safari”) grass on the horizon. The gold and yellow shades seem somehow highlighted and brighter compared to the dark sky above.
I look out and am amazed at all the movement I see in an otherwise empty and great valley. The wave of the grass as it bends with the wind; the shadows from the clouds moving over head and casting down pockets of light, or rain depending on where you look…
We come to a bridge that is just wide enough for your tires to skim by on either end. There is a group of giraffe in the distance and you get a little smirk as you quickly pull the jeep to the side of the road.
You lean over to undo your seat belt and pause to say, “get out!”. I follow suite and hop down with a thud. Small puffs of dirt rise and settle atop my shoes. I look down and sigh... clearly they will be brown and no longer black before I even get to your place. “Such is life” I tell myself, "I’ll have AFRICA DIRT!.."
I consider saving it in a jar when I get home for a minute and then see you round the front end of the jeep and motion for me to come walk towards the tall animals...
I hesitate. What if there is a cheetah out there...
I look over at you, and we both wait a beat... you adjust a boot lace and remove a spur in your sock. I remove my blazer and toss it back onto my seat in the jeep and look back at you.. you smile.. I smile.. and you say.. “lets run!” I am so game!
With each of us holding our hats firmly atop our heads with one hand we run through all the tall grass (safari grass). It’s as flat as it looks.. no tricky rocks to fumble your foot. No holes.. nothing. Just flat.. and a little springy..
We run until we see a creek that is clear clear clear and it is the divide between our galloping path and the troop of giraffe who don’t seem to be one bit concerned or curious about us. They continue to chew on top leaves and bump into one another in a somewhat lazy afternoon kinda way. One is laying down in the middle and I think it still might be taller than I am from sternum to the top of his little horn on his head. They are not at all clumsy or gangly like cartoons make them out to be.
In fact nothing is exactly how I thought it would be.
I knew there would be wide open spaces, but not with such color and movement. I didn’t know there would be a cool breeze and storm clouds. I didn’t know the tall grass wouldn’t itch my legs, but feel soft and feather like on my fingertips as I ran through them. I didn’t know the water would be so clear, or that the wind would smell so sweat.
We pant, and watch them a short while before turning around and starting our walk back to the jeep which sits alone on the side of the road and waits for us as if it may have rolled its “eyes” at us when we got out, but is now happy to wait while we act like little kids on vacation.. because.. we are!
We can hear each other much better now that we aren’t near the loud plane engine, or the roar of the road while we drive.. so I tell you about the flight.. the odd ball people, the confusing terms and cocktails I consumed. I fill you in ‘short hand’ on the people in my life.. friends.. roommates.. maybe the guy I’m seeing.. nothing too important or pressing. You ask me if I’m hungry, and tell me a funny story about the market where you went today. You list off a few of the things you want to make for tonight’s dinner. You tell me C is in charge of such’n such, and I’ll be in charge of this’n that. I agree and it sounds good.
You tell me more about the people you have met, and someone you are really excited for me to meet.. a new friend you are already just in love with. We climb back in, I’m a pro already at this and we clip in our belts and the jeep comes to a roar.
Mom. Move to Africa please for a little while so we can run in feather fields and watch wild life . oh please!