Saturday, March 08, 2014

In a clearing

It's hard to explain how dark it can get in an equatorial African jungle at night. I suppose pitch dark is appropriate.  While we walked the path that night I held a flashlight focused not so steadily on the ground.  I kept an eye out for the large scorpions that frequent the paths at night. I couldn't help thinking about the other creatures that were lurking in the surroundings as we strolled along.

I was still however, enjoying the walk.  It was finally cool.  The temperature had to have dropped at least 40 degrees by then.  It had to have,  today it was 120 in the sun.  There was a slight breeze.  Mmmm.  The path curved through the jungle along the side of trees and tall grasses.  My fear rose and fell as we worked our way to our destination.  There were sounds coming from the jungle. Noises sometimes close.  So close you new that it could touch you if it wanted to.  Others so far away calling to each other in the night.  Where we were going wasn't far, but in the darkness it seemed to go on forever.

When the jungle opened up into that field and we stopped and stood there. Looking up for I don't remember how long, it didn't matter to me anymore how big the black scorpions were on our path.  I stopped listening for the spitting cobras or the rustling of game in the bushes.  I was truly awestruck.

As the trees cleared, the sky lit up.  It was filled with stars from horizon to horizon. We had hiked to a simple hill but it felt like we were on top of the world. The view was like none other.  Where I was staying the electricity had been turn off hours ago.  No man made light for hundreds of miles.  We laid our blanket in the clearing and soon were on our backs.  Only once before, in Mexico, had I done this but this, this was even better. Amazing.

So many stars.  I tried and make sense of them.  I tried to find my place in the world as I have so many times looking up at the night sky.  Slowly it dawns on me that I am not in my world.  The sky is all new.  I remember now.  I look for it. There right almost above me shining bright.  The Southern Cross. It is so beautiful I feel blessed to have seen it.  I feel fulfilled.  After some time I start to search for it where is it? Where is my world?  There on the horizon lays my world waiting for me, safe.  The Big Dipper is sitting there waiting for me to return home.  But for now I am here.  I have traveled to another world.  I have seen another sky.  I am truly blessed.


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