Today I am to talk of a place that given a chance to move through space and time, I would choose as my destination.
Two places automatically come to mind. One in my past and one in my future. So I battle between which to tell you about for they are both so beautiful. Masterpieces crafted by God’s own hands.
So I shall tell you of one as it is a build up of another.
As a young girl I have always found joy in nature, in peace and in serenity. In fact if asked what I crave for the most: those three and love would come on top followed closely by success.
In a beautiful magnificent city dubbed where “the waters are always clean” is where my story lies. Nairobi has changed over the years but it’s core remains the same. I hear of stories of old that tell me that Nairobi was ever green …and it’s waters were always clean, so much so that the Maasai actually named it after its waters.
The buzz of the city life is always there especially in the morning between 8 and 9 at lunch hour as people scurry to do the little they can before office hours call and between four and five when people rush home and others to class and traffic …traffic becomes crazy. People are always fast paced ..not as fast paced as London I imagine but fast paced all the same. And at five there shall always be hawkers playing their little cat and mouse game with the city council of Nairobi while they sell to us second hand shoes and clothes, which if you have the eye you really benefit from. So skilled are this people that just by looking at you they know your shape and what might interest you and hand it to you. But woe unto you if you aren’t done choosing and the city council also dabbed “kanjo” enter into the vicinity…what folllows is something out of a circus… The mats are closed, there are shouts everywhere and in the blink of an eye…you are left standing alone in a place where minutes before was a whole market. It is simply hilarious.
Out of all that drama and madness is a place very far from there that is so peaceful and so calm. A place whenever in the past I couldn’t think or talk or I simply needed to cry I would escape to. Everything about it is serene.
Even the simple walk to the place. It is beyond the students parlor past their halls and even farther and slowly as you walk the scene changes from the busy fast paced walk of everyone to a simple saunter and finally just a graceful walk…. The buildings slowly begin to be replaced by many trees and the hoots slowly become the melodious voices of birds in the air. The harsh air slowly becomes fresh with that scent of fallen leaves and a cool breeze that only trees can bring. Kinda like they are welcoming you home.
And as you go farther in, you meet a single vendor on side of the road selling boiled maize and small mangoes (the green yellow type) with chillie …And this my lovely readers is a must have when the mangoes are in season. Mainly around Feb-March and December as well.
Past her two more shops on the left and then a green gate “The Nairobi Aboretum ” and a sign with a stern warning not to feed the monkeys.
As you enter this serene world everything is calmer, the road has an old dusty feel and there are trees everywhere and of every kind. From bamboo trees to older trees generations old in one little haven. On the trees are inscriptions, numerous in number. Of lovers commemorating their love. Putting it in writing if you so like.
There are various paths while in Aboretum and i have taken each and everyone of them. But such a place has a knack of surprising you and I can tell you for a fact that I have learnt a new path each time and discovered somewhere hidden by those magnificent trees. I have played with monkeys and I have ran from safari ants. And I have done this with so many people as my life has past.
My favorite memory of the place though has to be with a certain best friend of mine at the time. With him it was always magical. We would chase each other through those wild trees always in search of the next adventure. I would open up my heart to him in that green lush and we would always plan on our lives in the future. There in those trees and in those canopies we formed such a deep connection beyond what any words or physical bonds could hope to grasp. And no we never even made out let alone have sex….but he knew me and I knew him and we knew those trees.
We discovered huge rocks deep within the forest and we would collide with many people who would go there to just sing and worship God. The first time I told him I loved God was in one fallen tree that had placed itself like a seat with a bamboo canopy surrounding it.
Sometimes I go there just to remember how close I felt at that moment to God and to someone else. Although I will admit that I do get lost at times 😛
Nonetheless, even after him, I would still walk there to the bottom of the place as there flows a river. Once clean …now some shades of green but it still fills me with hope. I would sit there or stand there and think of all the ways I could change my country for the better. Or just cry because I was feeling confused. And because I knew there no one would see me or bother with me.
Or worship and pray because I just needed to. Or I wanted to. And by the time I left my life would have more meaning and I truly would know peace in my heart.
Aboretum for me holds a lot. My first almost arrest happened there :p I was young and my raging hormones and that of my then boyfriend figured it was a nice place to bond physically. All wild and foolish I should add we were quite near the road but we had told ourselves we were hidden ….we never even got far ! The police in home clothes caught us and they had evidence! I had never cried as much as I did that day. I mean we were only making out. Yes it was intense but gosh! We begged them for so long and God only knows how we survived that one. ( oh in Kenya PDA is quite illegal)
Any who I have had people that I still hold dear confess their love to me and dutifully brother zoned them because it was only fair. I have made peace with myself while in aboretum and with God and with nature.
I have played with children while there for charity, I have relived my childhood …playing games such as “carty” two people throw the ball at each other as they try to hit the one in the centre from both sides. I have played three sticks. I have done it all.
So given a chance right now ….I would definitely go to all those moments and just watch as I smile and not change a single thing.
Of the second place I shall write in a later post …it is after all so beautiful it requires a post of its own.
If you ever do get time, visit Nairobi and the Aboretum. It will be worth your while :):):)
Love and kisses 😘