Lovers' Day

Sunday, February 14th 2016

Uhuru Park is full today, of a type of love I have never fully understood, but that strikes me every time. Couples in matching clothes, bright reds and blues--tight, tight, satin--content to watch passing cars and people and be in each other’s arms.  Some are in the middle of the parking area, taking photos in clothes that are too hot for Nairobi sun; big, made-for-the-occasion vitenges, and a photographer pretending to be professional, but this, this is a big moment and everything is perfect. They have saved each other’s numbers on their phones under names like Roger Darlin and Sweet Bayb.  Women’s faces are shiny and they smile as they look away, and you can feel the bigness of the day. It is 5pm and sweet wrappers are strewn everywhere, and among the children there is a feel of retiring after a day full of sticky adventure. The couples watch and don’t watch the kids running up and down that little Uhuru Park hill. There is a sense of new beginnings for a lot of these people, you can almost hear some of their stories being told—new to Nairobi, just settling in that job, things will get better, Joshua was born two months ago, we are very blessed, the future is bright, I am in love, he is a good man.

I see shadows of the people my parents could have been in their day, but Mama says, “We were not—what would you call it—romantic?” and I smile. My mother is such a wonderland. So, so much to know. I see the making of family photos that will be looked at decades on, that will elicit feelings that will be fascinating and strange and familiar and exciting, recalling the naïveté.

There are…in a sense, secrets of life all around. We need so little, and want so much. I wonder where the line is drawn between satisfaction and complacency. I feel like there is enough in Uhuru Park today; enough love, enough comfort, enough wonder and joy, but there is that nagging feeling that this is only the beginning of a journey. Life is always such an adventure, a big journey, but the very exciting thing about things like love is that one always feels they have finally arrived at their destination, if only briefly. And sometimes I think, love might just be the point of it all. Love for life, love for family, love for partner, love for work, and love for love. 

More from aKoma



Cancel
Cancel
Cancel