A Last Walk

A last walk

Was it my imagination of were the mountains more beautiful? The evening light more syrupy? The birds more vociferous? I don’t think so. It’s months and months since Kilimanjaro was as clear; it had tossed aside its habitual cloak of cloud so that it was adorned with only wisps, like tulle. It wore a crown of snow, heavier, far heavier than in recent weeks and its every valley, every nuance of its shape, drawn out by shade and sun. Even Mawenzi, the little peak, had bravely stepped forward where it normally hides in its big brother’s shadow. Meru, not to be outdone, stood tall against a blue, blue sky (one that for most of the day had been heavy with mist and rain). About its circumference was a perfectly level frill of cloud, like a tutu. Even the distant Masai Steppe, to the south, was clear. The sun, spilt low through bottom branches and ignited the tops of the star grass so that it looked like so many blushing heads.

I don’t remember such a heartbreakingly beautiful evening. I like to think the mountains were out to say goodbye. And the birds – the pigeons called, the Hadada ibis sounded uncharacteristically mournful and even the guinea fowl’s giggle was subdued. Will they miss me? No. Of course not. But they may miss teasing the dogs.

And will I miss this? Yes. I can already feel the ache of sadness at goodbye.

But another part of Africa will be home now, different vistas will imprint upon my mind so that memories move over as new affections take hold.  The dogs will appreciate new smells. I will walk them to the evensong of different birds.

I will be still be beneath the same enormous African sky. The evening light will be unchanged.

And my beer will always be as cold.



10 Responses to “A Last Walk”

  1. Equiano Says:

    And oh to be back myself under that same sky. What a beautiful description of the landscape. Safe travels to your new home.

  2. Carolyn Says:

    How lovely. I hope all is going well. Good luck.

    At least there’s always cold beer!

  3. problemchildbride Says:

    Africa sounds so beautiful. Just lately, it’s happened that I’ve been reading about Africa here, in novels and magazines, and seeing it in films. I am more and more drawn to it.

    Some day, when the girls are bigger, I want to wander about Africa for a while.

  4. problemchildbride Says:

    Best of luck in your new life!

  5. Paula Says:

    My heart goes out to you leaving a place you love so much. But what is life without adventure and new horizons? Your new home is still in Africa and I’m sure will come with a ‘charm’ of its own. I know the pull of Afirca, once I spent a year living in England and have never been so unhappy in my whole life. Africa plants herself in your soul and that helps you to put up with any of the challenges you may and of course will be faced with living here. All the best for the move.

  6. The Good Woman Says:

    Best of luck for the move Memsahib. May you find new peaks (without any troughs).

  7. Kathleen Says:

    Its so sad to leave places that you have loved. Good luck on your move. I am awaiting the travel story of your cats especially. I really laughed at your Khaki story.

  8. lady macleod Says:

    beautifully written

  9. PressPosts / User / Zynisch / Submitted Says:


    Submited post on PressPosts.com – “A Last Walk”

  10. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thank you all. problemchildbride, when you walk africa, walk my way and have a beer. I have found new walks in outpost – I have to put the dogs in the car to get there, but they have already proved worthy of the effort. They are wild, wild walks, by dams, with only the distant sound of fishermen to remind you that you are not far from some (loose)semblance of civilisation. Otherwise it’s bird calls and the indignant chatter of mongoose when the dogs discover their scent. The sky’s the same though. Big. And blue. Kathleen … cat story to follow …

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