I think I’m a morning person. This seem to be increasingly the case, anyway, as the needs of my day demand it. Yet the thoughts that come in the morning are of the hazy kind, the less true kind. They come quickly enough–too quickly– like so much water poured from a bucket.
I like thoughts that come slowly, in a singular way, like rain drops falling one at a time from the end of a branch.
I make my start in this deluge, daily, meeting the needs of the early morning in a flood of thinking: breakfast, ironing, waking children, navigating our departure from the house. And over it all and in it all and through it all, the waterfall of thinkings about work and my plans for the day, about needs of the household, about Other Things, true or not, and trying in all the wet splashing to grab on to the true ones.
It’s a good thing the way to school is familiar enough. I can make that jaunt without thinking; it’s a road I know by rote.
Last week we were driving to school as usual, I in the driver’s seat simultaneously awash. But we were all a little more clear-headed than usual: this was the last week of school; the days dwindled. It was almost over.
And then I saw her, there by the side of the road. A black woman in colorful clothes, kneeling, her back to me, bent over a bed of flowers. What was she doing? Weeding, perhaps, maybe pulling some blossoms from their stems.
We passed her in a matter of seconds. My sight of her was momentary, at best. But for the rest of the way to school, the water of my mind was composed of Africa, of a Kenyan June morning where the air is cool and damp. Vendors unpack their wares at the lip of the roadside. The smell of burning trash fills the air. A green field is split by a red dirt road. And flowers everywhere are in bloom.