19 October 2011

What some days hold

Today the air has swirled and spun.

I’ve been thinking of the Cape, where a windy day can be claustrophobic, when to open a window just a crack is enough to allow such a flush of air through it’s like a crazed creature racing around the room picking things up and flinging them above its head. Book covers flapped and snapped like birds’ wings, tissues danced, dust motes rode the rollercoaster currents. Outside, our hair was yanked from the roots and it was difficult to breathe.

Here in Joburg such tumult is far more unusual. Inside there has been quiet and coolness; two cycles of soft breathing. One body floated in light and twitchy sleep; the other mind watched and wandered. Outside, wind swept long fingers through branches and leaves, tangling and untangling. Plump bougainvillea bobbed. The windows are open just a crack, for the moment, to prevent another crazed creature from getting out, from leaping off high places and ensnaring himself in the shadowy webs of creepers. He’s only four months old, after all.

Still, some air entered. Along with the sight of greenery bending and swaying, it was the scents of wood smoke, dust, old furniture polish and, inexplicably or perhaps just wishfully, salt that triggered memories of that other day.