photograph by Cheryl Merrill

photograph by Cheryl Merrill

It’s the exact moment of daybreak. Outside my tent window the sky brightens from black to blackberry. A call from a nightjar floats in through the mesh of the window, gurgling and untuned against the silence beyond it.   Other birds begin to shift and rustle in the bush at the tiny hint of light in the sky. A damp coolness shifts upward a degree.

I emerge from the cocoon of sleep, roll over and watch blackberry become gray. I hear a lion’s roar, faint and comforting in its distance. The light turns curry, then yellow, then the pale blue of an egg. The shifting birds flutter, then fly free from the bush as if released from cupped hands. Air dries and lightens, and the sky turns to a transparent blue.

By the time I leave my tent the sun blooms between clefts in the hills. I stop and face east. My body is covered with downy sunlight, soft and warm as peach fuzz. Little coolness remains; the day is already sweet with possibilities.

There is a reason why the sun was our first god.

2 responses

  1. Beautiful description of a rising to the occassion, beginnings of a perfect day. Are you alone in a tent, all by yourself in the middle of who knows where you are? I was just thinking is this something I could do?

    1. Hi Barb – Of course you can wake up in a tent in Africa! it just takes a little planning and some money. Be sure to travel with a reputable travel group – and a good travel agent that specializes in Africa travel. No, I wasn’t totally alone – not a good idea where I go – but there were only six travelers along. Africa will center you – take you inside yourself – and you’ll feel alone with yourself. Thanks for the kind words! All the best – Cheryl

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