Same Moon, Different Mountains …

My walks are as long but feel longer. When Hat was here we talked our walks away, conversation intermittently broken to roar at one of the dogs, tearing hurly-burly and out of control, yapping at guinea fowl who laughed at them from tree tops, barrelling out of long grass bedecked with burrs so that we laughed at them too. My walks are altogether quieter now, except when I roar and the guinea fowl cackle at the dogs.

 

Africa is spillingly generous where I live now, on this broad valley strung between two mountains. Kilimanjaro, bare shouldered, white-headed rises on my eastern horizon – sometimes it’s obliterated by cloud, sometimes erased by dust, sometimes rendered invisible by a heat haze but close of day when dust settles and clouds have melted away and the last of the sun’s heat has dissipated, I see it then: duckeggblue, profiled against a darkening sky. I turn then and head home, and west, where Mt Meru rises jagged, jutting peaks and wrapped in green. The sun sets beneath it, a Terry’s Chocolate Orange that pencils pylons sharp against an evening sky.

 

There are mountains where Hat is: she sends me a photograph of her view, the Andes a snowy backdrop to Santiago’s skylines. I look at the picture for a long time and imagine her new home. From East Africa to South America. Swahili to Spanish. But lots of avocados here too, Hat smiles. I cannot see her face when I speak to her on whatsapp – my connection is too slow for that. But I can hear her smile in her voice.

 

When she left, and I cried, alot, Ant drew me close and said, ‘she’ll love it’. I can hear that; she is having fun. It’s all you want isn’t it – for your kids? To be happy. If she is happy, being a little sad that she is not here to talk to, to walk with, is do-able. I think of her when I wake. She trails six hours behind me. Sometimes my phone pings with a message as I prepare my morning coffee so I scold, ‘OMG! Get to bed girl!’. But sometimes our hours coincide; she is home from work, I am readying myself for bed. There is time and space to catch up with delicious disregard to schedules.

 

I imagine then her sun setting over her snowy mountains. Mine is long gone. In my part of the world a huge high moon has risen, all cheesefatwhite and round, so full and bright then when I pad out in my pajamas to call the cat, I won’t need a torch.

 

If I think that she sees my sun, my moon, even if we cannot share mountains, she seems a little less far away.

 

I live vicariously¬†here whilst she’s there.

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4 Responses to “Same Moon, Different Mountains …”

  1. Rosie Says:

    A lovely post. You captured the silence and sensory “aliveness” of your new home. I feel like I’m standing there with you between those two mighty mountains, breathing the air and watching as the guinea fowl get flustered out of their scrubby hidey holes by your dog. Beautiful writing as always. And so glad to hear Hat is having a great time in Sth America. Even though we miss them we can at least rest easy knowing they’re happy; at least we can sleep then!

  2. Ad dy Says:

    Kili and Meru bring back so many memories for me. Kay climbed Kili and worked at Mt Meru Hospital in Arusha when she was there a few years ago. I can picture you there. Santiago looks good too. Kay will be visiting there in 2018 on her South America trip. I am glad Hat is settling in well. Will follow her blog too.

  3. nappyvalleygirl Says:

    Beautiful writing. I think I just read an article by you in the Times about Zanzibar!

  4. hatsofftosantiago Says:

    aw Mum I loved this! xxxxx

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