From my Journal, 13th December 2018

Sophia Youngdahl - Senegal


February 2, 2019

Teranga.
I feel as though I am surrounded in warmth.
I know I am as sweat careens down my cheek,

making pathways in the light dusting of sand that has laid there to rest from its windy whereabouts.

It is more than that simple, easily defined warmth, however; 

it is a peculiar one, a delectable one,

one that makes the heart glow with hues of the sunset,

or moreso the hues of lazy mid afternoons,

as the world exhales and the sun shines 

just enough luminescence to be seen 

through the eyelash-framed lens of tired, happy eyes.

This warmth is the color of that time, 

when sunlight gently grazes over pink tiles 

and makes everything seem easier, somehow

I am happy. I am ecstatic. I am living.

Every smile, every passing greeting rushed though grinning lips, 

every blind, thoughtless offer

to share,

to share,

to share;

share in food, share in jokes and stories, in a simple handshake, 

in the constant, vivacious ambiance of laughter. 

All doors are open, legs ready to dance, mouths prepared to sing at any breathless moment, 

hands drumming, drumming,

eyes searching for a face to make familiar. 

No, not warm.

I am not warm.

My heart is blazing, hot as the Senegalese sun, 

enraptured in a state of wide-eyed wonder, 

existing in a constant, comfortable yet bizarre feeling

that I am breathing out, 

that a pounding weight has been lifted from my shoulders

that of which I was previously unaware,

that I am home, in the most strange and vivid and beautiful way, 

I am filled with love, with relief, with laughter and something close to majesty

and
I have never felt anything quite like this.
Alhamdulilah.

Sophia Youngdahl