Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Love Letter to West Africa

Wrote this about 2 years ago, after my return from Ghana. I sit here-- a college grad, few short months from returning to Africa, as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

It hits me sometimes at six in the morning. The familiar look of a few faces- a look of hope, a sunrise that sets the sky ablaze, a smell of a lone flower that only penetrates when I am inches away from its secret; and I am thrown back in an African moment. Filled with hope, fear, anxiety and all the rest, 6 am is when I am in it the most.
The streets are mostly empty and the big city is tamed to a small town-- deserted. My mind wanders across the Atlantic to a place where all my dreams take place, where I can stretch my legs and run free in the sand, where I can scream with happiness, or learn a new value of silence. I can feel the warmth of the sun and appreciate the protection of an ancient tree. A place where every gulp of water was a silent prayer of thanks.

I long for the mystery of the open road, the comfort of unknown, the “live for the moment” spirit of a backpacker. The excitement of making every place home.

I know every bump of these Richmond streets, I know when to walk, I know what route to take to avoid trouble. Everyday I am hear a voice inside get quieter and quieter. It speaks so softly sometimes I wonder if was ever there. I know it is, I am waiting for a time when it can come back once more and lead me to a place where things are peaceful again.

I want to go back.