It took so much longer than expected to arrive. Physically present: head elsewhere. I got stuck flying over the north pole, misplacing my heart near polar ice lakes resembling the dusty lace doilies buried in my elderly aunt’s china shelf. That place was the farthest thing from tropical Africa I could imagine. Cold. Empty. Safe. Something in me landed there instead of here.

Feeling off, I tried everything except patience. I attempted to fill the well with huevos, oatmeal, and thick coffee. Ran straight into beach fires, thai prawns, a paddle through easy seas. Still fighting tears I rode my bike to Duncan; fast. I stayed in bed till noon. Worried (too much) that my post-equatorial self was going to feel full of fuzz forever.

Somewhere between berry picking and ocean-side napping I felt the icy space holding me hostage fade. Yesterday I noticed small things again. Sunset light on the power lines. Kettle whistling on the stove. Then, while aimlessly spitting cherry pits off the porch, I found what I had been missing: ease.

Finally; melt-water.


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