The Mida Creek boardwalk was rickety, swaying from side to side as Alex and I walked over it. Although Alex was striding along, my walk was more like a shuffle of a drunk hippo. The boardwalk was lined with two sturdy ropes on either side. Although I was grabbing them tightly for my balance, it didn’t help that the planks of the boardwalk that I was walking on were not evenly spaced. Adding to the drama, the planks were enjoined on two thick wires that that kept swaying with every step. Every time my feet stepped gingerly onto a plank, it felt as if I would tumble into the shimmering ocean water beneath. Growing majestically from the water were hundreds of mangrove trees.
Alex was a good friend and a staff of A Rocha Kenya, the organisation that managed the boardwalk. He was guiding me along the boardwalk, dropping the names of birds and mangrove trees as if they were his children.
I could see my long shadow in the ocean waters, shyly following me as if it would rather remain behind and swim towards the mangroves. The combination of the mangrove leaves’ green color and the ocean water’s blue color was such a joy to behold that I stood in awe.
After fifteen nerve-wracking minutes of hippo-walking on the narrow boardwalk, we arrived at the T-shaped end. Here, the planks were hammered into wood, not wire. The resultant stability was quite refreshing.
The entire creek was laid out bare before me. I leaned on the wooden railing and feasted on the incredible sights. What joy! On my left, the mangrove forest lined the entire shoreline. Bundles of fluffy clouds seemed to dangle quite low. If the mangroves could stretch, they would touch those clouds. On the right, was a wider swathe of the ocean. It unfolded like a blue Persian carpet. A dugout canoe stood immobile in the distance. There was nobody in it, making me wonder how it had gotten to the middle of the ocean in the first place.
This final part of the boardwalk was an absolute haven of bliss. Jutting through the lower left railing were mangrove leaves that seemed to be basking on the dry boardwalk. Across the leaves, barely a meter away, was the shadow of the right railing. It left artistic patterns on the planks. I sat down here, leaned on the railings and gazed at the sprawling ocean. I imagined how centuries earlier, Portuguesse and Arabian ships had probably sailed in these very waters. Unfortunately, some of these ships ferried away slaves whose descendants now lived somewhere in South America or North America. They would never know the joy of sitting right in the middle of Mida Creek and whispering sweet nothings to the salty sea breeze.
I closed my eyes and opened my mouth wide so that I could literally taste that delicious breeze. Oh God. I whispered silently as I opened my eyes to see three little white birds - probably little egrets - landing gently on the wooden railing of the boardwalk. I smiled at them and they chirped merrily.