The Kingfisher and I

It was a long and restful sleep.  The sun’s rays slipped through the shades teasing my face.  I blinked my eyes open to see the beginnings of yet another day.  Pushing the quilt away recklessly with my feet I stretched luxuriously until every nerve in my body tingled with the awakening senses. I can feel the longing for movement burning within me.

I slowly head to the kitchen to make myself a nice cup of tea with a generous helping of cow’s milk and a teaspoon of sugar.  And within minutes I am out of the house.  A pair of old walking shoes, slacks and a T-shirt thrown over carelessly comprise my attire.  The gate closes behind me and yeah, I am like a free child once more without a care in the world.  I forget myself and feel wonderfully light as my movement gain pace. Left, right, left right.  It’s me and my soul – breezing across.  I enter the agriculture farm. The air is slightly chilly and the cool wet mist envelope my eyelashes. The old bent caretaker gives me a blank stare through his  thick eye glasses.

I finally reach the wide open field of arable land.  The golden wheat stalks nod in greeting.  I fly past the patch and move toward the bed of young maize plants.  Keeping the momentum of my speed, the movement gets lighter.   Small beads of sweat appear on my forehead and upper lip.  The soft wind creates a tingling sensation as I wipe off the sweat with the back of my hand.  The cool soft breeze whispers as if to let me in a secret.  I am suddenly thrilled to interact with nature with all my senses.   I grow slightly breathless.

All of a sudden I come across someone so irresistible that I could hardly hold my breath.  He appeared almost out of nowhere and could be seen standing boldly in contrast to the lush greenery in the background.   He looked straight at me from a distance.  The Kingfisher stood  there on a stalk showing off his striking plumage.  The brightness of his turquoise blue coat sends a shudder through my heart.  Gaining close proximity I see him twitching his black tail happily while still staring at me.   I realized that it was not actually me that he was looking at.  It felt as if he was looking into my soul within.  The very soul that made me race through the fields. There I was – right in front of him without a trace of make-up – with greenery all around us, the mountains in the background, the crisp air and the haunting Cuckoo singing somewhere high up in the tree.  It was then that I realised that he was almost human.  He had that ethereal look about him. And we were connected.  But I walked on and looked back to see him right where he was.  On my detour I found that he was no longer there.

I got home just in time for a shower and a hasty breakfast before dashing off to work.  During the day in front of the computer, I dreamt about him.  That night I happily lay down to sleep with the hope that I would see him the next day.

The next morning, the Kingfisher was there almost in the same position.  I came, he looked at me and waited.  I did not wish to break the golden silence of the moment.   He stood there as if to say hello.  His magnificence overwhelmed me.  He commanded my attention.  As rightly said, the king of all birds was he.  There was a presence of admiration, love, nature, quietude, freshness and beauty without words to spoil it.  Then one fine day he was no longer there.

The wheat was harvested and the fields lay barren right before my very eyes.  I could see the dry stalks of wheat piled up neatly on the ground.  Why, the very stalk on which he stood lay among the pile lifeless, slaughtered    The sound of the wind that rustled amongst the plants now wailed straight through the dry field.  Each morning I look patiently for him in my walks with the hope of seeing him again.

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