I woke up to the laughter of laughing children. It had been a while since I had heard such a ring of sincere joy. These were kids, with their utopias deeply ingrained in their young minds. They were allowed to be young, their innocence unscathed and intact, their view of the world undented. A bout of nostalgia came washing over me. I missed being a kid. I missed the times when I didn’t have to hide my tears or my burst of anger. Those times when if somebody hurt my emotions, I proclaimed it to the whole world. Wished I could go back and revel in that free-ness.sunset-the-self1

I hated myself for ever growing up, admonished myself for ever growing out of my baby’s skin. For having given up my doll-like eyes to EYES.

And I woke up hoping, hoping that I had not dreamt and hoping that this was a new day. Such absurdity! Waking up and trying to convince yourself that you haven’t dreamt, and hoping it is a new day. Of course, often we wake up to a new dawn. It was 6 o’clock and I wondered what business children had waking up to play at this time. The laughter of young men and women could be heard as they walked past my window. What did this daybreak hold for me?

I remembered my dreams. We were measuring up maize-combs against my grandfather’s body. All of us in the family, my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, everybody. This had never happened before. It was a celebration of some sorts. My grandfather was very happy, like we were doing a happiness operation against his heart. We measured up the maize- cobs, how I cannot remember, but we measured up to 85 maize cobs, and I was the last one to put the last maize cob. And then everyone cheered.

And that is when I woke up to the children voices. I turned to my bed side clock, still holding on to the hope that it was a sunrise. I was disappointed. It was 6.30 pm, a Kenyan time sunset. It was my grandfather’s 85th birthday. Just then a text flew in from my mum, “Your grandpa just passed away at 85 a few minutes ago. His last wish was that you live to be the best that you can be, you have his blessing!” My heart crashed against my bones and blood. A sunset that had at come at sunset while I was desperately hoping for a sunrise. But wasn’t this a sunrise for my life too? I turned to my pillow and wept.sunset

I originally posted this post on the Storymoja Festival Blog http://blog.storymojafestival.com/sunrise-why-did-you-have-to-come-at-sunset/