I’ve been up since 4am, wrapped in a blanket on our upstairs veranda. Staring up the sky which is inky black and swallows me whole. That and the silence…I’m lost in both, equally. Quiet, contemplative, realising I’ve sat for nearly an hour without moving. I’m afraid to now, not just because of cramped limbs twisted under me, but because my movement will cause a ripple, stirring, an infinitesimal start, the ‘butterfly effect’.
It’s 4am and I couldn’t sleep. There’s a moth that flutters inside my head and won’t let me rest. When I try its filigree wings brush against some half-forgotten thought and pushes it forward. I sit and watch faint light rise over the Maasai Steppe, I feel on edge but I put this down to lack of sleep. My body lies down at night but everything pulses around me and whilst I listen to J’s steady sleep-filled breathing, my own rhythm does not follow.
If I sit so still, will I absorb all the sounds around me, sitting in this place, hidden in shadow. The mountain is mine at this hour and I am its keeper as it slowly rises. The mullah starts his call from way below me, his voice climbs as it swirls through the foothills and the hairs on my skin prickle as they always do.
At this moment I have no eyes and all sound is exquisite. I have no eyes but I can hear the wind coming down from the peak, can smell the chilled scent of snow it carries. This perfect moment is like a meditation and I realise that sometime back I forgot how to breathe.