Last week, I had a couple of moments of pure happiness spurred by the simplest things.
One day, I felt lethargic, as if I were coming down with something. I decided to take a midday nap, and Samson (Paria’s kitten) ran into my rondavel with me when I opened the door. He spent the first 20 minutes exploring and attacking in a frenzy, as always, then decided to show his adorable, calm, I-just-want-to-be-loved side. He tucked himself as close to my body as he could, turning around a couple of times before nestling under my chin and pressed up against my chest. His violent purring rattled against my neck and didn’t stop until we both fell asleep. I woke up with him still next to me, feeling healed and so content.
On Thursday, Beatrice, the cleaning woman, cleaned my rondavel. For the past month and a half, I slept on faded green and blue checked sheets that matched poorly with the dark purple and black checked blanket. Permanent granules of sand from my days of building where I neglected even to wash my feet before passing out at night greeted me each night. But on Thursday, I came home to bright white linen sheets. They changed the whole atmosphere of my room from something old and dingy to something clean and new. I think I even exclaimed out loud in excitement… it more than made my day.
And how about every time I look at the sky? It gives me a burst of adrenaline to see the endless expanse rising over the short, flat trees of the African bush. The clouds that build up on the horizon, thick and puffy and towering into the sky, warn of thunder that rarely comes near Daraja. While working, I always keep an eye on the sky to watch for horizons darkened by rain or hot sun burning through the clouds. All it takes is a look at the sky to remind me that I am in Kenya and to fill me with gratitude for that.