Swimming under the horizon

In Nairobi, after feeding a giraffe, I sanitize my hands with something smelling of lavender and the world I left behind. A safari guide laughs. A driver joins in. And another. They tell me giraffe saliva is a natural antiseptic. Something I should remember if I get lost in the savannah. The giraffes watch us, expressionless.

leaving our shoes at the door
we enter the stranger’s home
with bowed heads

Where the equator crosses the dry asphalt in Nakuru, young men show us science tricks. Water swirls in opposite directions in the two hemispheres. Not just water, I say to myself. It feels strange, standing there, straddling an imaginary line, as if I am larger than life and this planet that neither cares, nor stops to ask, is now, for the first time, beneath my feet.

swimming
under the horizon
fish tell fish ancient land myths

Face to face with a young leopard in Samburu, I wish I can tell what he is thinking. But here, in the wild, I want everything to talk so through their words, through their primal poetry, I can go back to the silence of the beginning. Before I was. Before they were. Before anything was. When everything made sense.

the delicate balance of being —
not one extra movement
not one extra breath

Then the sun sets over the acacia trees, the grass mirroring the hues of the sky, the distant roar of a lion turning everything surreal, the last impalas fading away, crocodiles now invisible in the murky water, darkness pouring down like rain, silhouettes draining into a black sea… between splutter and cough and growl and yawn, all goes quiet.

just the earth
still going round
and round and round…

 

Kenya sunset over the savannah

****

Kenya Travelogue… Nairobi/ Nakuru/Samburu

34 thoughts on “Swimming under the horizon

  1. What I love most about earthweal is the global conversation. Learning to speak global means two hemispheres of reality at once, like water flowing in different directions. Here, Asia meets Africa in beloved moments. These haibun set them like pearls and reach out to learn the language of the wild. Love it … and the title is perfect.

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  2. You are living my lifelong dream. How wonderful to be there experiencing this. I drank in every line. I resonate with wishing to go back to the beginning when everything made sense. Enjoy your adventure, my friend. Your eyes will have a daily feast.

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  3. Eye opening and marvelous–I didn’t know straddling the equator (and culture and species)–was so possible and revealing, My favorite is the second part, where both the planet and ancient tales are beneath the feet–a sturdy foundation, perhaps.

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  4. Oh, my– you’ve been places and seen and learned a lot. So glad you shared all this with me. I’m better for it and have you to thank. Such loveliness is what I craved today. So thanks. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was transported to my own trip to Africa, feeding the giraffes, the safari trips — some of my favorite memories. What a lovely haibun, Rajani. I hope you went to the Sheldrick elephant rescue too while you were in Nairobi.

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