Thursday, 3 October 2013

View from my window

On a sunny day I can see forever, houses stretch out from beneath my window down to the lively town centre and the sea's blue expanse. Slightly to the right the castle ruins are etched proudly against the majestic mountains of Arran.
But this is Scotland and today is not a sunny day. Today my little town is shrouded in heavy grey-white clouds and no-one would ever guess that an island lay across the narrow strip of dark sea, if they didn't already know. The houses seem to huddle together for comfort, their rows of chimneys topped with seagulls keeping watch. It seems a magical place, where anything could happen.
The maple tree across the street, usually so sedate and dignified, is showing a different side of herself today. Her prim green has been accessorised with flamboyant dabs of orange, yellow and brown and she is dancing a wild dance of joy in the squalling rain.
As the darkness deepens, lights begin to appear in the windows and they make me feel safe.
I love this town fiercely. I call it home, while never quite forgetting that once I had another home, although oceans and continents and spans of time divide me from it now.
I was born under the vast blue African sky in a small town nestled between the green hills of KwaZulu Natal. Around this town hot, dry plains dotted with thorn trees and aloes stretch to the towering peaks of the Drakensberg in one direction and down to the jungly coast of the Indian Ocean in the other direction. This town's first name was uMgungundlovu, the place of the elephants, but no elephants roam there now.
At last these wistful thoughts abate and my eyes swing back to the rain soaked streets. I stand up and close the curtains, I must go and make our dinner now.

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