I’m pulling weeds on a cool grey-skied morning after a night of big rain. The weeds offer no resistance. I hear the elementary school children singing half a block away. The neighbor is cooking something pungent and a little sour, probably a porridge made of fermented corn.
I’m wondering if the children will sing something from my childhood. So far no, but the singing is familiar in a comforting way. All children laugh and sing with the same voice. A universal sound. I notice they begin each song with attention to tune and tempo, holding back a little. On the last refrain they let their voices loose for a crescendo of happy, out-of-tune exuberance.
Weeding is meditative. The repetition provides me the mental space I crave for processing information and formulating my thoughts. I imagine all writers weed or practice something equally physical and non- intellectually challenging like riding, jogging or cooking.
Nwansane, the blonde goat startles me with a sneeze. I’ve read that a goat sneeze is an alarm call so she must have come around the house not expecting to see me crouched down in the yard. We spooked each other. Me her and she me. She comes over to see what I’m up to in a friendly way. She is becoming more companionable each day. This morning she really enjoyed the brushing I gave her, stepping forward for more when I stopped.
And then I hear it! The unmistakable sound of a tune I sang as a child, “Oh McDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o.” I smile because now I know what to write about today.