A dirt path home

One route from the market to my home runs alongside the Indian Ocean. This is my favorite route to take. It’s a dirt path often muddied by early morning rain separated from the beach by a knee-length cement wall. On this walk home I pass by the fish market and a collection of sinks where women wash clothes and infants at all hours under the sun. I also usually have to sidestep around a children’s soccer game with rocks for goal posts and a ball made of plastic bags and twine.

I was walking to the market one afternoon to buy bananas when I saw little dark objects dancing and jumping on the shore far in the distance. The closer I came to them the more they appeared to be little boys playing in the nude. There were eight of them, splashing and laughing wildly. Their clothes sat in eight piles against the cement wall.

Across the dirt path a group of men were completing the construction of a wooden fishing boat. They were deep in concentration and paid no attention to the boys on the shore.

I looked at the clothed men at the boat and then at the playing boys on the shore and I thought, There’s more involved here than merely the passing of years.


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