Segou and Allahysan (some day I’ll learn the real way to spell this kids name) came to fetch me this morning around 8am. We walked to the Mango Fields where 100foot mango giants taunt children with preseason ripe fruits just out of their reach, just beyond their throwing capabilities. As we were just at half way group of girls started shouting : i fa denni nana [your father’s smallest child is coming]. Just as I turned I caught a glimpse of Dabi, slightly scared out there, in a huge vast empty field all by himself, pregnant-waddling towards me, eyes fixed on my legs, trying his hardest to ignore the girls. When I smiled at him he smiled back and picked his waddling up into a bit of a jog and I caught him and tossed him into the air and he squealed. The most perfect noise next to Fisher declaring his love over the phone and the sound of a my mother’s morning songs from when I was little.
It was a wonderful thing for him to come running. For him to see me from afar and be compelled to find me, to run for me, to leave his comfort zone only to be rewarded with a different one.
Then, as he sat perched on my shoulder, one hand dug into my curls holding on and the other pointing at grazing sheep and passing cows he began saying their Bambara names, a game that I love terribly.
Anywho, me and my flock of sweet children went in search of nearly ripened mangos and delicious and fluffy cashew fruits. They climbed trees like Olympians, like Circe du Soleil athletes and without nets or training, they dangled and taught me clever ways of getting fruit, which were ripe enough to eat and which were mushy enough to make me gag. Dabi tired out quickly, landing a permanent spot on my shoulders – it felt so good, his hands in my hair and his calves in my hands, listening to his word game. Once we came to Wurdia and I placed him on the ground in front of her he started to cry and she looked at me and smiled and sighed and turned from his crying eyes back to her work.
It was a good morning.