We signed our lease contract yesterday. It’s official, we are no longer homeless. Of course, the apartment is yet to be emptied of its content, but the previous tenant has left, and it’s a matter of days, two weeks at the most, before we move into our new home. Let us not dwell on the fact that our shipment has yet to leave Mumbai, and we may well have to camp out until our effects reach us. At least, we have a place.
The apartment on the floor below, identical, just slightly darker, was also rented at the same time, and we took the opportunity that workers were cleaning, painting, and polishing the floors to go and take measurements for curtains, blinds, and such. I took lots of pictures so I can start thinking about how I want to organize and decorate it, and I was standing on the balcony, looking at the small, narrow patch of green below when a thought struck me. For the third time, we will have a traveler’s tree in our front garden. The two last times, in Nigeria, and in India, we lived in a private house, but what were the odds that we’d have a traveler’s tree in an apartment building?
Call me crazy, but I consider it a sign of continuity. This is not, after all, just some old tropical tree. It’s called a traveler’s tree because its stem can be cut and offer water to the thirsty traveler. In our case, and as I admired our new companion (above), I started thinking that the traveler’s tree is there to give us a sense of continuity, something familiar and comfortable to look at. And it’s beautiful, too.