It is 6.45 PM.
I sit right at the edge of the lake and let myself synch in with the feel of the moment. Something happens to me any time I find my way to a large body mass. More like a sober trance. Its my second day here in Hawassa. This place happens to be the first out-of-Addis Ababa trip I ever made and somehow my heart connected. I remember walking from my hotel room to this very terrace one early morning and with nothing but idle splashes of the lake, I sat here in quietness till the sun rose. For once in a really long time, I experienced a quietness that didn’t unsettle. I had a conversation with myself. So sober and crisply clear convo that felt like lifting off a heavy load off my chest. And so I came back. This time round to do a summary, a goodbye, a conclusion of some sorts. The day has passed first. My head feels light. I watch the lake change it color to gray, followed by some sort an engulfing black. The setting sun rays spread generously across the horizon like a spinning spectrum. You can feel the waging war-the clash of light and darkness; a calm so intense like held breathe under water. There are these tiny lights coming from the other side of the lake and they look like fireflies rehearsing for the night ahead. The moon is slowly showing her face-round, bright and full, like it just feasted on healthy stars and got wrapped in snow.
She stares at us from across the terrace where we are seated. A nonchalant feeling falls, and a quietness that has evaded me of late. She has a familiar scent. I reminisce. My heart aches. She has a familiarity that makes me miss home more. I want to stand up and walk to her, maybe say hi, or, you know… forget it. I am here for me. I can’t allow myself to get warped in such triviality. The evening quietness suddenly gets saturated by chirping of birds, flapping their wings as they head North, a sort of a polite interruption. The calmness falls again. I inhale deeply, more of a sigh. The air smells sweet. A rich sweetness, that lulls all worries and fills my heart with appreciation for life and a longing for home. Is a man unmade by himself or the hands of fate? Are we the works of our choices or our will or our lives are predestined by deities? I am lost in the myriad of thoughts. I enjoy the silence and the music of the waves.
A group of white sojourning birds flap fast. They are a contrast of the already darkened lake and the graying sky. The floodlight from the hotel gives them this angelic demeanor. There is something fascinating about birds, or rather the thought of flying. And flight means freedom, a tag beforeA reminder of flying from whatever the day brought. I believe flying is freedom, finding the balance between the fall and stating afloat.With that I think of life. I make my contrasts. Contrasts with the lake and all lessons it bears. My heart of late has been so tempest, I guess out of the decision I am about to make. Of late I have been loosing sleep, and those moments in quietness of the night I am engulfed by a feeling like I am making an oceanic voyage on a rudimentary raft. And of course I get sacred. But now that I am this far, I know there is no turning back. I have got to face whatever lies ahead of me. I look at the lake and imagine things. Like its origin miles and miles away, a small tributary daunted by the mountains and valleys ahead, but somehow finding its way here- a reckoning mass that consumes, gives and hosts lives, and of course turning out a custoddian of so many a secrets-like a woman’s heart.
Across the lake, there is this darkness crawling to where we are seated. Like something sinister. Like a tornado preparing for some pounding.The waves are calm, but occasionally they still slap the rocks at the edge quietly, like they are singing a lullaby-getting us ready for the night.
I look away.