(Walk ing the Road - Sea Point Promenade)
It's Jacques's birthday today. A perfect Cape Town summer's day in the middle of winter. Not a breathe of wind. Perfection.
We decided to walk along the Sea Point promenade. Because that what we do now that we have a dog. Before Max, we'd have slept late, read the Sunday papers in bed, gone out for a lazy lunch and perhaps watched a movie. But now we have a dog. And it's all very different. Good. But different.
And walking along the promenade I fall in love with Cape Town all over again. The sea is calm and silver-soft. The sun is gentle on my face. Max is drawing attention from passers-by. He sees and falls for a small blonde labrador retriever. Our friend Mark runs past. Jacques and I hold hands. And we talk to strangers about the soccer.
And then I see her. The young girl in the red and white striped costume. Her legs are strong. Her face innocent. And she's looking longingly at a dragonfly in flight. As if she too longs for flight. A series of sculptures has appeared on the promenade. And they move me.
Titled 'Walking the Road', it was created by the sculptor Marieke Prinsloo Rowe. On her website she writes:
'The Little Girl in my fable-like interpretation represents a young South African democracy and the Dragonfly visualises a dream of freedom, equality and hope that we as a nation pursue. On a personal level, it is also a reminder to each of us of the hope that we individually live for and the dreams that mark our lives, our own story.'
I will return to the promenade again later this week, and the next and the next and I will walk past these sculptures again. And meditate on them. And remind myself of the girl I once was. The girl with strong, brown legs who at aged 9 was hesitant to swim at Seaforth beach on a school excursion, because she considered her legs too fat. And I will think long and hard about this journey that I have begun. Remind myself that I am blessed with strong legs that can carry me. Legs that can run after my dog. Legs that allow me to swim out far into the sea. Legs that enable me to run into my husband's arms. The sculptures will be removed in June 2011. A year is a long time. A long time for a journey of acceptance that begins and ends here. With me.