So that was it
I should have taken a photo or something. I should have cried through one or two of my hardest goodbyes. I should have had an anxious, restless night and woken long before the anxious pounding of my taxi driver upon my gate. But I did none of these things.
I’ve just been happy. It’s all so beautiful and while there are dozens more descriptive words that one really suffices. I drove away smiling, thinking what a lovely chapter this has been, how I’ll always remember it so fondly, how it may have changed me or redirected me in ways I can’t yet see. But whether it has or hasn’t, whether or not I photographed enough memories or properly christened my goodbyes with heartfelt tears, it was lovely and it was true and it is gone forever.
When you leave something like this you never really can come back and everyone knows that. But in another sense you wouldn’t want to stay forever because it will all change anyways and you can’t every get your hands on that demon called Time. He’s unfaithful and a menace, playing with our hearts, forever handing over days when we want hours and seconds when we want years. In many ways he’s the god of the West, one that, along with Nature, we have managed to conquer only in part and have often been shocked by unanticipated effects of conquering that part. In just a few days I’ll have such a stronger grasp of him, of Time, or so I will think. In other ways I have lived far from his own grasp these last 6 months.
There was rain last night, roaring, pelting, invasive rain. The first rain I saw in Moshi was several months after I had arrived. Then it came every week or so, never for more than an hour and always followed by sun. But last night I heard thunder, I had rain slipping through my uncloseable windows and felt a chill whose touch I have long evaded. I guess this was the official arrival of the rainy season, but I couldn’t help thinking it was also quite a pompous farewell.
I swam into town and sat alone one last time at my favorite cafe. Scrawling out the second to last chapter of my Swahili book I spooned off the froth of my last Union Cafe macchiato (or machiato as they say there) and hardly noticed the electric lights flickering threateningly as they so often do. But the umeme stayed on and I found a taxi home, the home I had transformed back into a house earlier that day. It was late and I was waking early so I didn’t bother to dirty the clean sheets but donned my neck pillow and fell asleep just after choosing an old playlist from an old friend.
I guess I forgot to say goodbye to the Moshi Jenny, the girl you have known in bits and starts, someone whom somebody halfway across the world has known much better, and of course the constant part of her, the soul if you will, has known the best. She was partly made up of a place and in other part people and youth and ideals. I think we’re all made up of those things, more than something isolated and individualistically unique. I wonder who you are today, who you’ve been these past few months if you read this. I wonder what people make up your community, what places and things and beliefs.
I think the season in Moshi has ended, though in other ways it will go on for awhile and in yet other ways it will go on forever. I’m not as melancholy as I sound. It’s both a fault and a blessing but I’m ever eager for the next thing, ever pushing for tomorrow. I can hardly wait for “A Season in Durham,” or many seasons at that. So while I’m still in short sleeves, flip flops, and batik capris I’ll sign off.