Friday, September 30, 2005

Pale September

I wore the time like a dress that year. The autumn days swung soft around me like cotton on my skin (words from "Pale September" by Fiona Apple).

I've been thinking about September. It's one of my favorite months. I can feel the air turning to autumn as Football season begins and the days shorten. I've already begun formulating a Thanksgiving menu and I want to eat foods like squashes, cream soups and pot pies.

The hills are burning
(photo courtesey of Lafonzo Rachal Carter / San Bernardino Sun). I hate wildfires. They scare the shit out of me. But when I walked outside this morning it smelled like Africa. When you step off the plane in Africa the smoke permeates the air. Its rich, dark, mysterious smell travels on the wind over the endless planes of the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. I breathed deeply and although not the same, somehow familiar enough to send me soaring back to Africa in my mind.

Back inside the house I go to the shelf in the living room where my collection of ebony carved hippos lie. I stroke them and sigh. My little hippo pool. Propped on the shelf behind the hippo pool is a photo taken from my trip to Africa in Spetember 2001. Bantu, our boat guide, took me f
or a ride on the delta in the Selous where this Mother hippo with one ragged ear and a baby hippo at her side watched as we motored by, camera raised to my eye.

I went back to Africa, with him, my husband.

Tomorrow is October. It seems so long ago that we were there, but it was only a little more than 2 months ago that my husband and I roamed the hillsides of Rwanda in search of gorillas. And we'll return again some day. I know we will. And I'll look forward to the smell as I step off the plane in Africa.

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