6: Cherry

 

It’s eight in the morning. We’re in a tiny cabin by the Congo River, on a mission to teach music and poetry (she’s obviously teaching the former). Yawning and stretching, I get up from my bed and throw my pillow on her face. She awakes with a jolt and curses at me for being an annoying best friend. I know she loves me, though. No one else laughs at my ridiculous jokes.

Raspberry-mint tea is brewing on the windowsill. My best friend and I decided that the theme for the numerous homes we’d make across the world would be light. All apartments and cabins and tents must be flooded with sunlight by day and moonlight by night. Beyond that, it’s what guides us in our travels. We learn about countries wherein light is scarce, and with our torches of skill and love, we move to work there.

Three knocks sound on the cabin door: our generous Djiboutian neighbor just dropped off the morning’s ripe fruit. Everyone in the village is kindhearted. That is what we have picked up from the nurturing aura of Africa. Our cherry friendship is mirrored in the friendships of people here. A kinship sweet as plum and solid as brick.

After having her first sip of tea and laying out some bird food for our daily guests, she rolls two yoga mats out and reminds me that we must nourish the soul before all else. We breathe. We energize. And we live. This is how we practice sisterhood. Rain or shine or porcupines, we’re there for each other.

A basket of ripe mid-July fruit lays at the foot of our cabin door. The sun is giving its motherly light to our quaint home. With the warmth of a soft summer, I set to preparing breakfast. Jams of all sorts, two slices of crisp toast, and a batch of blueberry pancakes. I crack a terrible joke and she proceeds to laugh. We’re a team! We’re a team. Cherry seeds tinkling with ceramic plates. Hummingbirds singing to the essence of morning. And bliss. Bliss pouring in through every window.