It’s still with me, as if, I brought it back in my luggage. It lingers like sadness, but this is different, an indescribable longing to return – homesickness for a place, not my home.
I have never been happier than I was during my days in Kenya. When I close my eyes, I can drift back on the breeze of a memory. I see their faces, little children’s sunny faces surrounding me six deep. Music of their laughter tinkling like tiny bells so infectious in its charm, my own laughter joins the happy chorus.
Each child lines up to shake my hand and ask me questions:
“Where do you live?”
“Did you fly on a plane?”
“What is it like in America?”
“Do you know Obama? His father lived here.”
“Can I touch your hair?
Little did I know when we visited the museum in Kisumu, I would be the most popular exhibit. They followed me in a tight circle, eager to share with me the history of their culture. They showed me the snake exhibit and thought it was funny I was afraid of snakes. About to take a step when I saw something, black and yellow in the grass, I let out a surprised scream as I jumped over the snake. All the children erupted in laughter as I looked back to realize I had just saved myself from a garden hose.
I could have stayed there, playing with my new friends, but their teacher called to them. It was time to leave. They will probably never know the incredible joy they gave me that day or that I carry it in my heart still.
(Previously published as a poem in Cold Coffee Magazine)
Candice Geary is a retired litigation paralegal who resides in Ohio. Her poems have appeared in Joyful!, Poet’s Ink, The Mused – Bella Online Literary Review and as the feature poet in Cold Coffee Magazine. Her article, Images of Africa, was published in The Medical Dealer Magazine. In addition to writing, Candice enjoys gardening, photography and pursuing humanitarian causes.
Motivation: My memories of a trip to Kenya are precious. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I fell in love with the beauty of the land and the friendly people who are as warm as sunshine itself. I do not want to risk these memories fading away with time like an old, forgotten photograph and so I write them down. It is my hope that when I am old and can no longer remember them, someone will read them to me.