My “Out of The Hat” column, first published in Stanford River Talk, the quite extraordinary little local newspaper that serves (and I mean serves) my village – April, 2013.
I STEP out of the shower I share with large frogs, even bigger spiders, any size and number of exquisitely hand-painted moths and and am immediately enveloped by the heat once more.
Sipping the dark, bitter remnants of last night’s sweet, black tea, I feel the mountain-dew breeze diffusing through the fly-defying mesh of the screen door and on to my chest, prickling my still-damp skin with it’s early autumn cool-creep.
The vista from my front door is the same, as always. In that is is constantly changing. The aimlessly scudding clouds, the groping, gripping mist and the love of the light all conspire to create new mountain edges, resketching a familiar landscape in my mind. Doves clatter inconsiderately through the leaves into the tree, just outside my wonky gate, where they have chicks to feed.
The Girl had spent much of the day with friends at the tidal pool, dolphining in the cool waters, espying salmon-pink, grasping anemone and tiny silvery fish as they darted among the rocks.
When dusk closed in and it was time to return home, she walked along the promenade wall, her salty skin shivering slightly in the evening bite. She felt alive and on top of her world.
She was so happy that she felt she could fly.
But, although she had, just that afternoon, inhabited the water world of fish, she knew sadly that the vast air arena of the birds was beyond her reach…
But wait. Was it? As a loftily-kicked football fell back to earth, a dragonfly magically appeared before her and seemed to beckon her to reach higher… to fly.
But, as she dared to dream, the dragonfly wheeled and soared almost out of sight. Out of reach.
“Come down, Dragonfly,” called The Girl. “Come back. Please show me your way to be free!”
Lights flickered on along the promenade as the sun sank steeply below the horizon. She was out late and he mother would have begun to worry. And she was cold. But… what was this?
The Dragonfly had returned. Wings whispering on the evening breeze, he appeared to be encouraging her to follow him, to gather her belief and stretch her wings. And to fly.
So she did.
Pictures: Hatman Photography
The Girl flew. And, as her dragonfly friend dipped away across the waves, she soared. And soared.
She flew so high that it became possible in her mind to reach out and touch the Moon.
* This is my interpretation of an experience I had with part of a series of sculptures created by Marieke Prinsloo Rowe on the promenade at Sea Point, Cape Town. To enjoy the full story behind Marieke’s beautiful work, fly over to her Walking The Road website.
Thank you, Marieke. For inspiring children to dream.