Poet James Eze, author of award-winning collection, “dispossessed“, announces arrival in Enugu of the thing that makes Christmas so special.Tweet
It arrived this morning…like a tender flame through the sleepy eyes of the night. It whispered on my window like the finest notes from a flute; insinuating a gentler sleep and leaving me awash with reveries of my childhood.
Just the day before, I had chuckled at the prospect of Christmas without harmattan. ‘A Christmas without harmattan, is that one a Christmas?’
I see from my window, the trees around the little lake in my neighborhood shiver in the wind. And I wonder if my neighbours are just as happy as I am that Christmas today is clothed in harmattan!
Looking back now, it’s clearer to me what made Christmas special to me when I was a boy. It was not only the sudden abundance of choice meals and the smell of new Christmas clothes and shoes; it was not the carnival atmosphere that wrapped up everyday like a gift, nor was it the euphoria of finding oneself in the midst of happy families and friends. It couldn’t have been any of that.
It was the harmattan.
The magic of the season…the imperial seizure of the entire atmosphere by strong, cold winds from the Sahara, raking up dust and turning everything brittle to touch. It was its cold cloying embrace of everything in its way; leaving cracked lips and making wooden beds and doors creak at the gentlest of touches. It was the unbidden dance of the trees in the gentle wind, the palm trees swaying their long braided hair this way and that and the sudden flare of the whirlwind, spinning and spinning until it gathers enough of Nsukka’s red dust and dirt to splash across the four winds.
That is Christmas to me.
As I lay in my bed this afternoon, I hear the door moan in the hinges. Outside, I see from my window, the trees around the little lake in my neighborhood shiver in the wind. And I wonder if my neighbours all over Nike are just as happy as I am that finally, this Christmas is clothed in harmattan! Clothed in dust and cold and dryness of the lips and palms.
- EDITOR’S NOTE
- You can order copies of “dispossessed” from most online stores here.