The day started at dawn, the sound of young women sweeping dirt into neat rows with twig brooms just outside my window, the strokes striking a rhythm punctuated by the sound of clanging as aluminum spoons stirred morning porridge into metal cups. Young women swept while older women served while I moved in morning light through the dark tin-roofed house, happy to be passed a baby to hold while everyone else did the real work of morning.
One afternoon I wandered further down the path than usual, only to be greeted by a toothless grin and an ancient smile and the chatter of a language in which I could only say things like “Good morning” or “Thank you” or “I love you.” Still I knew enough to understand now was the time to follow as she lead me by the hand to her circle mud house with the straw roof. Inside hollowed out urns topped with handwoven straw lids held raw cow’s milk, the acrid smell of smoke still in the air, each urn smoked first to make the milk last longer. Or so the legend holds.
She chatted, I drank, until my love came to find me, breathless in the doorway, wondering where I possibly could have gone unattended for so many hours. “I lost you,” he said, stringing together the least amount of words as always to say what he would have to say again and again until we both woke from so enchanted a dream. “I was having an adventure,” I replied, knowing the last word would be one I could never quite explain. Not then, not now.
Adventure. That thing that happens when you lose yourself, when you let yourself get carried away. That thing that unravels you, that makes you lift up the lens to say “Yes, this is the moment, this is the feeling” before it’s too late.