There have been heavy rains in the last week. You walk, absent mindedly, along a familiar path in the meadow. You lift your eyes to see a pool of water in the green hollow of the meadow, where none has laid before. The water, a product of days of rain, stretch out, gray and sparkling. Floating upon this wild water you see two strange birds, the like of which you have never seen before. You guess that these might be stray seabirds. They are as white as snow and they are disporting themselves gently in this new pool as if it were a haven of refuge or a meeting place which they sought from the moment they had come out of their shells. You watch them, fixed motionless, afraid that you will disturb their happy play. Inching closer you see their eyes shining in their heads, note the marvelous snow of their wings and their coral beaks reflected in the shallow wind-rippled sea. They appear to have been companions of all time. They preen their feathers, uttering faint cries of delight, as if telling secrets to one another. You gaze with greedy eagerness, aware that you are learning a great secret. You dread that these wild creatures will rise and fly away, so under your breath you whisper words of encouragement, to persuade them to stay. The birds have no fear of you being there, eyeing you with bright eyes that reveal curiosity of their own. They share their secret with you.
Begin to write.
Soul Food Cafe Patrons
The Visitor by Jenny Aarts
I gaze into the bright knowing eyes of these delicate birds, and it is as if I am suddenly inside their thoughts, about to learn a great truth. They tell me they have flown for centuries over the earth, always together. They have travelled every corner of the globe and seen many changes, good and bad. They say I must not fear to leave the safe, the known, for it is in the unknown that the spirit finds true fulfillment, even if the going is hard, and there are storms along the way. The spirit is stronger than we frail humans dare to believe, they say, and can overcome great trials that threaten to break it. They tell me they are soul-mates, destined to travel through many life-times together. Once they were black birds. Their feathers are now as pure as snow since they have struggled with adversities and overcome them, losing a black feather each time and gaining a white one. They say the spirit never dies, that death of the body is just the casting off of a worn-out shell.
In reaching out to the world, they tell me, I will find myself. If I stay confined in my own safe environment, my soul will be in a prison of its own making. They tell me not to be afraid, because anywhere in the world is home. You just have to adapt a little. See, they say, we have our pool of water. We have food. We have each other. We have love. We have our freedom. What else could we possibly need? I blink and I'm back in my own thoughts, and these are just two exquisite foreign birds preening themselves in the sparkling water. A rainbow has cast happy colours over the grey clouds as the sun tries to push through. I no longer wish the birds to stay. If I let them go unselfishly, something of them will remain with me. I hope they'll return some day, when the rain makes another lake in the meadow.