“The dry grasses are not dead for me. A beautiful form has as much life at one season as another.”

This time of year is just so pretty. The air is clear, the light is sharp, and the sun silhouettes the trees. Above it all is the deep blue sky. The breeze is slight now and barely ruffles the dead leaves still on the trees. Today is warmish at 45°.

In Ghana, during the harmattan, the dry season has full sway. The air is filled with dust carried by the wind off the Sahara. The ground gets hard. The laterite roads turn dusty, and the open mammy lorries are followed by a trail of red dust which covers the passengers. The fields are cleared by fire. I could watch the red flames move across and burn the brown refuse left from the crops grown during the rainy season. The nights and mornings are cold. I had a wool blanket on my bed. My students layered. I get the feel of those mornings here sometimes in the fall when the air is chilly, but you know it won’t last. The day will get warm, even hot. In Ghana, the heat followed the cold, a day and night heat, a dry heat often hitting 100°. I used to sit in my living room and read. When I got up, a sweaty silhouette of my body was left on the cushions. I loved my nightly shower, a cold shower. I’d go to bed still wet from the shower and let the air dry me so I could fall asleep.

I ate the same breakfast and lunch every day. The only changes in dinner were chicken sometimes instead of beef and rice instead of yam. I loved breakfast and lunch. I’d eat two eggs and toast and have a couple of cups of coffee in the morning. After I taught my first class, I’d sit on the front porch and have more coffee. Lunch was fresh cut fruit: bananas, pineapple, oranges and mangoes and pawpaw if they were in season. The meat for dinner was often cooked in a tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes with onions added. I got tired of rice and yam, but they were the only choices.

I’d go to Accra, the big city, during school holidays. I stayed at the Peace Corps hostel, 50 pesewas a night which included breakfast. The rest of my meals were eaten out, and I loved it. I ate Lebanese, Indian and Ghana’s version of Chinese. No meal was expensive except the Chinese. It was on the outskirts of the city, and the taxi ride added to the expense, but we always ate there once a trip. It was worth the money.

It was the chill of this morning which brought me back to Ghana. I figured I’d bring you along.

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4 Comments on ““The dry grasses are not dead for me. A beautiful form has as much life at one season as another.””

  1. Beto Says:

    I watch the petals fall from grace
    As evening calms the day
    A Sunflower late in finding root
    An innocent bouquet

    The seeds are scattered in the dusk
    And with its dying curl
    The Sun will shine where beauty stood
    To prosper this new world

    And little birds that God adorned
    Who live upon the wing
    Draw life from these who do not toil
    Then to their God they sing

    So we who by their beauty gain
    Must follow paths of Grace
    Like Sunflowers of September
    As new ones take our place

    • katry Says:

      Beto,
      The joy and beauty of late summer and early fall means the blooming of the late flowers and the birds not only singing but also spreading seeds which will bloom another season, another September.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Cold here too, thanks for sharing warming Ghana memories! Is the photo above one of your old Ghana pictures?
    As every Tuesday I just saw old Doctor Who episodes on TV. Your blog and memories are kind of a Tardis too, traveling in space and time 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      That picture was taken from right outside the fence next to my house. The grasses are dead so it was taken in the dry season. The girls are going home from market.

      Thank you! I love that, traveling in space and time.


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