A walk through my cũcũ’s farm

Being able to visit her Cũcũ – grandmother in Kikuyu – in her home in Githũnguri, Kenya, for Christmas, felt especially meaningful last 2020, given the pandemic’s toll on the world, and its spotlight on the vulnerability of our grandparents. Together with her family, Nyokabi Kariũki walked around the farm — just as they always do when they visit — but this time, she found herself paying more attention: to the ground, to our languages (both Kiswahili and Kikuyu); to the flowers, fruits, leaves, birds, cows. It felt like the spaces between each avocado tree, the stillness between our conversations, the sounds of nature — and of a small farm giving life — were silently teaching her to revel in these little moments with family.

In this piece, musical melodies mimic the environment, and randomly taken recordings from the day weave into one another and into a poem Nyokabi has written in kiswahili: I am learning, slowly.