I am falling asleep. I've been out all day, Walking up hilly dusty paths, Under the scorching African sun. In the footsteps of a woman. She is a symbol of an era, That will soon be history, Told in tales by old people to their grandchildren She is a symbol of the past, Yet she is a symbol of the present. She was a traditional birth attendant. She is now a birth companion. In a silent but powerful way she changed. Dropping old practices, letting go of her income, Turning her profession into a mission. To remain a guardian of life. Her eyes carry the wisdom of the long life she lived. Her face carries the wrinkles of a myriad of emotions. The memory of hundreds of lives brought to life. I am contemplating history. I am falling asleep. My skin is burning. My mind is peaceful. I have African dust on my boots. I have African smoke in my hair. I have African sand under my eyelids. My sleep is so much better.