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The Essence of Life

04 April 2014, 06:55

I silently watch her while she is carefully positioning streaks of bacon on a skewer for a brunch far away from the bustle, here, in-between the mountain and the lake under the old Mopani tree. The mid-morning sun is casting shadows over her concentrating face while the hard-wood fire smoke is sending a fragrance on the nose which confirms the elation in my relaxed mind of picking this scene to celebrate life - indeed; it is threatening to keep me in this moment forever.

Birds foraging for their feed compliment the soft trickling of the recent rain waterfalls sliding into the lake, with soft high pitched satisfaction whistles, as if they too feel what I feel, see what I see and hear what I do.

This is certainly not the first time I get this warm feeling spreading inside me, but it is as good every time. I know that when I return to my daily grind I will long for this moment which I am savouring now, precisely why I try to extend the perception of time by drinking in every little detail, drive everything else out of my mind and wallow in this mid-morning lull.

I consciously banish the joy and pain from yesterday with the hope and fear of tomorrow from my mind and concentrate to absorb the immediate ambiance on offer. To sit in this mystic backdrop and cast one’s mind to darker endeavours, is just too great a transgression to even lend a thought to. The here and the now must forever be called life.

The times the clock stops for us and we feel as if our life is so good and perfect at that precise moment - that is the essence of life – it is life and time itself. All the tribulations to come and all the mistakes of the past are merely shadows of visions and memory.

Fresh buttered white bread rolls are browned on the fire. Hauling them off the grid I smear a generous lick of basil pesto on the half of it while plucking a fire heated cherry tomato from its holding twigs and puncturing it to get the warm juices to marry the pesto – because basil and tomato are like Laurel and Hardy, Plant and Page, Rum and Coke. The bread is crunchy but soft on the touch when I drip the quality extra virgin olive oil over the mixture on the perfect bite.
I can imagine being a giant taking a bite of heaven; it is absolutely an explosion of married flavours sending messages and images to the brain which cannot be repeated in written word.

Can these single moments in time be the highlights we feed upon which we store in the memory banks and haul out to re-live, whenever the wish it is to do so?
Are we taking the daily routine grind on the chin so that we may, for only a few weeks at most, ship our vessels away from the pain to go and create memories which we can summon whenever the hurt is too intense? I should surely hope not. I indeed hope that we find a few moments in everyday and in all circumstance where we can unearth an emotion within ourselves to keep in touch with joy and elation even in our daily drag of a life.

Across the water a giant Kingfisher is perched on a branch hanging low over the wind-still mass of water, reflecting the hue of the moment I am able to capture so beautifully with my mind, my eyes, ears, nose and camera. How utterly cruel and simultaneously excellent to have moments like these defining in the strongest terms who I am and what I really want from this pleasure called life – but it exposing itself always so very fleetingly. This moment making me realise that it cannot last as long as I wish it to, not even to try and stretch it to noon. How thankful I am right now of the millions of years it took us to develop the exquisite senses we have to appreciate the absolute beauty of life as we know it – or perceive it to be.

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