watch out for falling coconuts

I lean hard against the sturdy trunk of a stately palm tree around which the current housing of our children’s village circles.   In the relative cool of evening, as the light slants long and golden on the ground, I catch up with mamas and children about their days.

I am oblivious of any threat of impending harm.

From clear across the yard Kaffi, one of our dear young men, launches himself straight towards me, a deeply concerned look furrowing his brow.

His broad intent strides devouring ground; I look quizzically at his coming.

“Mama, it is not good for you to stand there, ” he blurts out earnestly without even a breath or the common culture of greeting.

I look down expecting an army of ants to be marching my way or to be in the path of an oncoming snake.  Seeing nothing but dirt, I look back at him rather confused.

He motions in a direction I would have never looked.  Up.

“This is the season when coconuts fall in the evening, Mama. You really don’t want to stand there right now.”

Very grateful for the warning, I wisely take my conversations to the safe confines of Mama Serena’s front porch, far away from falling coconuts.

Walking back to my house giving the fall-zone wide berth, I realize again the gift Papa has given me.

A family who doesn’t just remind me of my own story when I need to remember it; but one who watches out for the things I cannot yet see and calls my gaze upward into vision.

I shut my persnickety half door as the last light of evening slips over the horizon. Grateful for family found a world away from the familiar, I shake my head, smile and say thank you to Papa for continued protection in a season of projectile coconuts and erratic first steps of a new nation.