Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Sun Rising

I pity the moon sometimes.
I think that it sees the worst of the world
in the hours when the darkness of the human heart
 comes out to meet the darkness of the night.
 It seems that the moon must watch some of the worst of the world's atrocities
when fears and selfishness run high and logic fades like stars suffocated by city lights.
When gunshots ring out.
When drunkenness runs high and good sense is tossed aside with all the empty bottles.
When people are afraid to walk their own streets.
When women scream out with every breath in their lungs as the noble listen on from their beds.
 When children disappear.
When innocence becomes something to be bought or stolen like powdered milk or pirated DVDs.
What stories of pain the moon must have to tell.

Even yet, I hope the moon knows that the darkness does is not an all-encompassing presence.
 It does not span the whole world at once, it cannot, and it will not last forever.
The darkness may abide for some time, but it must pass.
Those who have spent the dark hours only waiting for them to end
know that on the morning light rides a strange peace and relief.
The first sight of morning light like that first breath
after breaking the surface of the water coming up from a dive.
 Dawn breaks the darkness with a bright army,
chasing away all the ghosts and phantoms
 living in all the unseen corners, nooks and crannies of sleepless nights.

 With the sun rising the world becomes a little less frightened.
Now, the sun will have its share of stories to tell as well,
some of beautiful things and others of pain.
For as the mists, fogs, and morning dust rise
the moon and sun will greet each other with tales of what they've seen from where they've been,
like two old friends swapping stories by the smoke of a campfire.
And as this time goes on and the moon departs, the sun rising will remain to keep watch.
The sun rising will be left to watch over 
the young girl carrying a baby on her back
 making her way through the rubbage heap
pulling out old strips of cloth to bring home for later use.

I wonder if we, from where we are, see or know of the sun rising over that little girl.
I wonder if we see the sun rising over the Rusizi river.
I wonder if we see the sun rising over the steep and narrow alley ways,
the stick bridges and the dirt paths that wind between Bukavu houses
which seem to have shot up from the ground
as if from seeds haphazardly scattered in every direction.
I wonder if we see the sun rising over the
 mourning women gathered on the floor of a dark room
in a house where a babies last breath was carried away with the night cricket songs.
I wonder if we see the sun rising over the guinea fowl
 running through the small room of young people whose worship songs and prayers
 are filling in the holes and cracks of the tin roof and brick and barn-board walls.
I wonder if we see the sun rising of the young men,
 ladies and children walking the dusty roads with yellow buckets,
 going out or already returning from one of their dry-season searches for water.

I wonder if we see these things,
 or if we think that the sun rising belongs to only to us,
that the sun rising only watches over our own lives.
No, the sun has risen over and seen much of the world by the time we see its light.
 I wonder how aware we are that our dear world
 will have done much laughing and crying
by the time we finish prying
our heads from our pillows.

Now when we ourselves begin our rising
I hope that in our minds we find ourselves comprising
ways that we may fully seize the day,
but really only so that we may give it away.
Not necessarily to the little girl in the trash heap,
but to whoever nearby that may be in need of that strange peace riding on the morning light.
Imagining, moment by moment, that our lives are not our own,
but rather that, perhaps,
our hearts are beating with a rhythm that is meant to give others a reason to dance.
Maybe, there is hope in the thought, that if we can learn to live a bit more of the heart flipped inside-out, upside-down sort of way in the day hours,
that maybe then the moon will not have watch so much darkness in the hours of the night.
Maybe then the sun and moon may swap more stories of light and peace and joy and dancing
with a few less heavenly tears being shed.

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