Tuesday, February 10, 2009
It’s the little things that make me feel like I’m at home, the familiar details that catch my attention again and make me feel comfortable in a place. In the last decade I have called many different places home, and each time I am back in one of those places there are myriad little things that tug at my heart and connect me to the memories that are stored up there. Yesterday evening it was the southern cross, hanging low over the trees in my yard, that stopped me in my tracks as I carried my suitcase into my house. I’m not usually overly sentimental, but my eyes nearly misted over as I watched it for a few long seconds…an old friend welcoming me home. Later, after getting all my bags unloaded and settling in a bit, I went out and lay on the hood of the car for a while, just relaxing in the familiar feel and sounds of night-time Maun: the croaking of hundreds of frogs down by the river, the ceaseless chirping and squeaking of insects, an occasional owl hoot, the sky pricked with innumerable stars piercing through even the light of a full moon. The cool night air, smelling clean and distinctly wild, untouched, broken with the odd sound of civilization: dogs, cars, faint strains of music. I will miss this little corner of Africa, this frontier town on the edge of beautiful, rugged, wilderness. I will miss the strange group of people that gather from all corners of the world in this safari center. But for now, I’m here, back in a place that has started to feel strangely like home. And I’ll enjoy it while I can.