Monday, October 02, 2006

The womb of humanity. I stand under a gigantic Baobab – I touch and kiss its grey stem, look at spiral roads upwards… Shade my eyes from sunlight, my clothes heavier carry earth in them. I wish I could stand through centuries, be a solemn witness.

Life would be safe among sacred ruins of a merchant town now populated by Baobab. They look after other subjects: the desert rose, neem from across the ocean, sykes monkeys and African harrier hawks. Africa… Ancient and alive.

All around me – the earth here is reflected in this tree, you are ancient and alive, barely. Barely… Humanity left and forgot you. The visitors will never know (and I don’t) how it was, how it could be. Looking through transparent shut windows into other lives provides exactly that much of a square space to look at.

You Baobab have seen it and felt it and grown - in it and above it… You Afrikaan people, your many beautiful tribes, you all different and yet the same today. I stand in awe and in sadness at the wisdom we have lost. We are a numb generation, not disillusioned but broken. I try to imagine what it could be like – you and me. But my growing up has stunted my mind. I cannot comprehend your elders and your names mean so much that I can’t understand. But be assured I am a friend of you and yours… I too come from an old land forgotten, not of course the womb of all man and any man, but I too respect wisdom and although the new fangled way is the only path to survival I too wail the death of the old, of the wise, of the immortal who’ve left us behind, who we have deliberately forgotten.

I may lie on a beach and laugh at my bikini tan, but I will not help but cry when the Baobabs live not… on this land on this earth…

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