(Helsinki, Finland; November 2013)
Can you hear the hooves clicking on the cobblestones? Do you see the steaming horses and the bustle of a departing riding party? Do you hear the clattering in the kitchen, later resulting in a celebratory Sunday dinner? I did, as I peeked out through the window into the courtyard.
And I sank into the bubbles of my heart-shaped bathtub and dreamed I was a princess.
(Rosersberg palace, Stockholm, Sweden; October 2013)
Do you know that moment when day breaks into dusk, and when it is too late for the sun, yet too early for the stars? Up north we call it the blue moment. On Wasini Island the fiery hot sun slowly fades into an orange afterglow, finally washing into a purple watercolor sky. Plain blue would be too simple and subdued after a white-hot day.
(Mkwiro, Kenya; September 2013)
“Lighting a fire with two sticks? Why, it’s easy, just like one-two-three!” And I cringed at the recollection of a 13-year-old desperately trying to rub a stick on a piece of wood to prove she is really a scout. Shrugging the frustrating memory away I sighed, grabbed the stick and began to twirl it between my hands. “More pressure, come on, every woman in the village does it!” Clearly I have no strength in my deltoids and triceps because I could not produce even the slightest wisp of smoke.
“Oh never mind, give it here” the Maasai sighed. He gave the stick perhaps ten well-targeted twirls, and puff, it began to smoke at the base. A couple of quick blows, a little kindling, and voilá, a little fire. Easy peasy, yes?
(Tsavo East National Park, Kenya; September 2013)