On Saturday evening, I was feeling a little blue. You know the feeling you get when you miss someone desperately? Only that I was missing life. The boys were at the club all day playing golf. The kids had gone for a tour of the tea estates. I was all alone at home, holed up in the guest room studying for my exams. Well not exactly alone, the dogs, two gorgeous German shepherds were at home as well. Barking and running around and seemingly having the time of their lives. Clearly, my life was the only dreary one.
At around 5.00pm I was fed up. I remembered Werner in All The Light We Cannot See. The German orphaned boy living in a children’s home with his sister. An electronics genius who wanted a blissful life so badly, so he joined the Nazi against his conscious and that of his sister. That was the only way out, otherwise he would end up in the mines like everybody else and probably die in there like his dad. His equally smart sister Jutta who he left behind at the children’s home went through the most dreadful and grim childhood. She somehow overcame it all, earned herself a doctorate, got married and bore a son who was smarter than Jutta and Werner, if his obsession with planes was anything to go by. Despite surviving the war, Werner’s health took a toll on him and he died all alone just as the war was coming to an end. He never got to live the blissful life that he desperately sort.
What’s my point? I wondered whether it was worth it. Allowing my studies to steal my joy when I was in one of the most scenic towns. Besides adding a feather to my hat, isn’t the qualification I seek supposed to enhance my life and allow me to experience the mind blowing extraordinary stuff? But here’s the thing, we focus too much on the big picture and forget to embrace the refreshing moments that come to us in small packages.
So I shut down my laptop, changed into my running gear, stuck my fitness ear buds in and headed out for a run. It was 5.30pm. I covered about 500m on the highway. Adults gazed at me with admiration while all the kids I came across cheered me on. They must have thought I was training for an international race. I had the determination for it anyway. The look on the kids’ faces amused me. I remember a chuckle escaping my mouth at some point. They looked at me with veneration, like I was a role model. Possibly one that had just won gold at the Paris Marathon. I think in Kericho, kids are encouraged to be runners from a young age. You know the way our parents would demand that we become doctors or lawyers or pilots? I imagine Kale kids saying “when I grow up I want to be a runner.”
Afterwards I turned into the tarmac road that leads to Finlay Tea Estate. The air was crisp and fresh and I took in as much of it as I could. The road sloped downwards for about a kilometer. First, I passed the golf course where a four ball was hanging around the tee box at hole number 8 waiting for the group ahead to clear the fairway. The road then took an uphill tangent. On my right, a tea plantation suddenly appeared, stretching all the way to the hills. The sun was just about to set, casting golden hues over the tea and the rolling hills. On my left, tall eucalyptus trees neatly lined up in rows towered the area. I was totally unprepared for the arresting sights that I encountered and could not resist taking photos as I ran.
After about 6kms into my run, darkness started streaming in so I turned around and ran all the way back home. The plan was to shower, eat and read but there was a blackout and no water. I figured that was a sign for me to forget the books yet again, head out and have a drink with the boys at the golf club. So I packed some sweat pants, a crop top, shoes and my toilet bag in a rucksack and drove to the club where I showered and afterwards, joined the boys at the bar. I felt like I had just been released from a maximum security prison after being locked up for 32 years!
The next day we visited a farm owned by a friend of the family. Acres upon acres of tea and trees and a dam in the middle of it all. Spectacular.
I needed to explore more of the Finlay Tea estate so I headed out for a run at 8.00am this morning. Further into the tea fields past the 6km point where I had turned back the other day, heaven awaited me.
Needless to say, I haven’t touched those books since Friday. It’s gonna be a rough 7 weeks but I am not particularly worried because I believe Kericho has armed me with all the tools necessary to grab CFA by its horns. It’s calmed my soul, refreshed my spirits, and injected youthful serum in my system. Kericho has given me life.