Funny, there always seemed so much to explore and enjoy during my early childhood there. We had wonderful freedom, wandering around at will, and yet I often chose quiet activities.One of my favourite things was to sit with my father as he listened to classical music, and I really grew to enjoy it.
I was enchanted by the creamy ivory keys, by the learning of how they went together with the black keys, and made beautiful music. Well, the music my teacher made was beautiful; I'm not sure how my efforts sounded.
I liked the practice books, and I loved drawing the notes and putting them in their respective places on the bars. It was great fun, and I looked forward with anticipation to my weekly lessons.
I don't think they made them, because they tasted bought. I liked the way the smooth icing on them yielded to my teeth, then there was the delicious, creamy filling underneath, and the crisp short crust pastry to finish the whole experience off. To this day I have never tasted such beautiful tarts.
One day I took a piece of white paper, and, using a piece of board to press onm, I sketched the garden, as I sat surrounded by its beauty. Then I took my crayons, and used all the colours I could to make a replica of it.
I presented it to the neighbour ladies, and was devastated when they started crying as they looked at it. They hastily explained that the tears were happy ones. My drawing was so beautiful that it made them cry. Well, to each his own . . . I think I understood later that they truly loved my sketch, because it was hung up in their hallway, and they had framed it.
So I knew it was good. It looked so good that I almost wished I hadn't given it away. I have thought of that over the years, wondering what happened to it, wishing I could see it through adult eyes.
I noticed a lump of something ahead of me on the sidewalk. Filled with childish curiosity, I went closer to examine it, and then my heart almost seem to stop beating. It is hard to even describe the fear I felt - almost an out-of-body experience.
By this time I was standing far too close to a fearsome puff adder. These venomous snakes are notorious for lying in the path of unsuspecting walkers, and when stepped on they deliver lethal bites. This one didn't seem to mind the extreme heat. It just lay there, well camouflaged on the concrete.
I was absolutely paralysed with fear for a few moments, then turned and walked back the way I had come. it seemed my legs could barely function. The shock made me feel numb and frozen. The horror of it all made it impossible for me to talk about it. Over and over I saw the fat, soft looking body of that snake in front of me.
This is probably one of the first deep losses in my life. I wish I had been able to talk about it, but this is the way I learned to deal with the most difficult situations in my life as a child.
I have never returned to piano lessons, but my love for music has not diminished. We learn to accept and compensate.
All images on this post by Morguefile, unless otherwise noted.