Quotidian Pleasure #2: Walk in Winter


When it is bright and calm outside, Mummy takes me for a walk. As soon as I step out of the house, the pleasure of being outside is almost visceral. Every ounce of my being is tightened and directed towards enjoying this morning. The white moonflowers gracing the pavements put on their most joyous countenance as they bow down in the wind. We walk past Ms. Nur’s house and I wonder what she is doing. Maybe she is out as well, picking roses or herbs to adorn her house. My mother pushes me past tall, date palms with clumps of their elongated fruit swaying to and fro. We come to a small bower and underneath the tree boughs are hoopoe birds with their familiar beige coloration and crown of black and white feathers. They are drilling their beaks into the ground, no doubt searching for worms and ants. We move past them, to come to a long path that leads to an unused gate. The gardens here are very nice. Some of them have sunflowers winding their way past windows, and white roses conversing to each other as they dance in the breeze. Parsley, sage, rosemary, mint and thyme are planted along the gardens and Mummy stoops to pick up a few pieces.

We go past the swimming pools and I am ever so glad that I am not in one of them, kicking my legs and braving the wind. Then we go past a deserted alley, with construction materials strewn all over the path. Drooping on a vine are some yellow flowers, shaped like Mummy’s skirts with their seeds proffered on spindly stalks. An orange bough is hanging close to me and I stroke the fragrant leaves. Some tiny oranges are hidden here and there amongst the leaves, and I watch them sadly as I leave, to think that no one cultivates them anymore. Soon, we reach home again and Mummy calls my sister to pick me up from my push-chair. She smiles at me. “What did you see this morning?” she asks.

Pictures by AF