June 18 2015
It’s harvest time. I walk through the sprawling pumpkin patch, stamping in the thick growth, the kikuyu gone mad. I have to walk slowly, bumping into pumpkins with the toes of my boots. The pumpkin stalks crack under my feet, signalling a pumpkin nearby to be found, skulking under layers of dried grass. Sometimes there is a nest of them, four or five close together. There is the occasional rotted one, a few that have been eaten out, and a largeish rodent that runs off, disappointed that I’ve taken its easy food source.
I dig up the turmeric too, carefully revealing the deep orange tubers with the point of my digging tool. I dig around the plant, then rock the whole root-ball out. It cracks out of the earth. Hand-shaped tubers intertwine. I prise them apart, sometimes dislodging just one finger from this clasped prayer. An enormous green centipede slithers out and over the black soil.
The cold air descends quickly, pushing me inside.
Even though the night is cold and wet, a moth – barely visible through the condensation on the windows – taps and flutters like a soft spring flower. Even though spring is no longer soft, but a time of untimely heat, the air filled with the desire for rain. This rain, falling now.