Thursday nights

Anne Cohen - Senegal


April 21, 2017

 Oceans of grass fill the sandy valley, rippling and bobbing in the evening breeze. The call to prayer echoes throughout the hills, coming and going in waves. There is a smattering of grey-brown houses and half built structures speckled throughout the sand.

There is one grey-brown house situated in the bottom of the valley. There are two donkeys grazing nearby and a wild dog exploring a pile of trash outside it’s high walls. Although the red outer gate is locked, the front door is open. As you near the gate, you can hear the faint high notes of a chant drifting through the air in concert with the wind.

There is a family inside the grey-brown house and a green woven tarp on the floor.  The father, two sons and one daughter are standing on it and singing. The mother is sitting on the tarp. The children and their father cover their ears with their palms. Gazing up through the roof, backs arched back and chests facing the ceiling, they sing at the top of their lungs, giving all of themselves to the chant.  The other daughter sits on the tarp, in her usual spot. Her jaw has dropped a little as she watches, in awe of the faith and love that she sees before her.

 

Anne Cohen