I. Went to get them flowers from the same shop I first went to at age 20. It was closed. Where flowers once bloomed a new seed has taken root; green and red and metallic. Across the way, buckets, withered roses and too much plastic are set against a gate. Today, my third visit in 10 years, on this birthday that’s a multiple of 5, I come to get them flowers. Yet it is only today that I learn of his name, Kuria, and his 18-year flower trade. But it is also today that I decide I won’t return, they deserve better. Later I learn that today is also the day I lay flowers on only one grave.
II. Green socks, trembling floor and with 30mins on the clock, I told a man from Netherlands that it would be my birthday in a half hour’s time. This man, standing in the air hostess pocket at the back of the plane stretching his feet, would join a growing nation of informed strangers on this journey towards 30. Announcing it, announcing myself as important; here. Everything from dark skin to hair climbing to the skies, tumbling about my shoulders is shouting. I am shouting, all together occupying space. I am here, here, here. Now, what of it?
III. After late lunch and dancing with family and friends I can finally stare directly at 30. I wore my favourite shirt, strung Maasai jewelry into my hair and put on three badges for each decade seen; their messages, “dream like a poet”, ” all you need is books” and to wonder woman logo nourished my soul. Startling to see myself living life on my own terms, wonderful to feel and be loved for it.