This Was My Home

A glance out the window revealed the outside world, combining strong, vivid colours with more dull, modest hues, together complimenting each other in the warm landscape. Bright rays of sunshine echoed through the hillside, displaying rolling green hills with jagged, rocky edges. Under the wheels crunched small pebbles and dry, yellow grass, dehydrated from long weeks without rain and the glare of the harsh bronze sun down on the land below.

A few times, one could spot a herd of cattle or sheep, sometimes dotted with a handful of horses. Their pelts were ragged, and coated in the never-ending dust that swirled around their hooves. Every so often, the ones who particularly liked to roll around in the dirt were covered to such an extent, that they almost merge into the ground itself. They were surrounded by makeshift fences, usually made of barbed wire held up by short wooden poles, to keep them from wandering too far from home.

The farmers themselves were rarely seen, as their houses tended to be a bit further away from the livestock themselves, often surrounded by a few scraggly trees or thick brush. Though if one did spot one, or meet one for that matter, they were very friendly people, although a little bit aloof, as they did not have visitors all too often in a place as desolate as this.

The old green car slowed next to an abandoned looking shed with a rickety, two-storey house a small way behind it.

A giant mango tree stood in the middle of what could be called a backyard, the branches twisted and withered from the prolonged drought. Much of its fruit had fallen to the ground, beginning to rot in the hot summer sun.

Bright, curious eyes peeked up at their much larger companion. The small figure was dressed in a blue tank top and brightly coloured shorts. Sunscreen had been slathered across their skin to protect their pale epidermis from the piercing glower of the sun.

They asked in a high-pitched, eager voice, “Where are we grandma? Why are we here?”

Their older associate turned to them and answered simply, “This was my home.”

Then they smiled kindly and took the young child’s hand, “And we’re here to see you’re lovely old great uncle.”

Slowly climbing up the shaky metal steps, the two came to the front door. The entrance was basically blocked by a wire mesh with a handle to operate it. Knocking on the wire, the old woman called out to announce their arrival. After a short while, footsteps were heard thudding across wooden floors. A shadow came up to the door, the top half hidden by the overhanging above the entrance.

As they opened the door and their features could be seen more clearly. A prominent smile on their face was clearly the most obvious characteristic, creating crow’s feet on the sides of their eyes. It gave a comforting sense of welcome.

Upon entering the house, the old woman left the bouncy ball of excitement to attack the elderly man with hugs and kisses and quietly gazed out the window for a few precious moments.

Many memories resurfaced of running on dirt roads and dashing through cane-fields. Of seeing spiders and snakes and ants of all kinds. Of irreplaceable times with loved ones in this blessed countryside. They breathed in deeply the scent of country and thought, ‘it’s good to be home’.

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