Every day I see this klip in the path where I walk.
And every day I say to myself hmmmmmmm that looks like a foot.
And then I just carry on walking.
This morning I stopped right after the hmmmmmmm.
And I gave it toes.
And said hmmmmmm there is a foot in the path where I walk.
As easy as that.
What happened to your toes?’, I asked the foot in my path.
‘Nothing,’ it said.
‘It is the same. It is just the way you look at me that has changed,’ the foot said.
I looked again.
‘You are right,’ and touched the colours.
‘Oh what a fine day for flying,’ I said.
And closed my eyes in total acceptance and unconditional gratitude.
Un bel di.
‘I want to hear what you are listening to,’ The Foot said as I carefully stepped over it.
‘Okay. And a good morning to you too,’ I said feeling a bit guilty for trying to go on my way unnoticed.
‘Yeah yeah yeah.’
‘Hey. Thats rather snazzy. The feather. It is so …. earthy,’ I smiled and gently touched the soft guinea fowl plume.
‘It is. I know. Now put the earphones on me. Uh uh….. I don’t have ears.’
Hmmmmm, I thought.
‘That’s okay. Most people with ears hear nothing anyway.’
A comfortable silence filled the empty space between us.
‘I know. I’ll play you some Beethoven. He was stone deaf.’
‘Yes. Please. The notes. Put them on.’
I carefully placed the pods on each side of The Foot and browsed through my playlist. I pressed play.
(Of course. Mr B’s 5th Piano Concerto. The Adagio.)
‘Listen! Listen,’ The Foot said.
‘Come closer,’ it said.
I bent down.
I went down on my knees, pressing my ear to the coldness of the stone.
I could smell and taste the earth.
‘Thank you. For the heart,’ he whispered.
Thank YOU for the tears, I thought and walked away in silence.
‘Hallllooooo,’ I said to The Foot resting in the short brown grass of the post-winter veld.
Except for the desperate cries of twelve hadidas gliding north to their place of rest.
‘Long time no see,’ I tried again, moving a bit closer.
‘Don’t longtimenosee me. You don’t see me because you don’t walk here anymore,’ the hoarse voice said.
True, I thought.
‘You never do the narrow paths anymore. You walk the broad and safe roads. Like the masses.’
I detected some anger and resentment in the blatant accusation.
I felt reprimanded.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I am singing Christmas carols by candlelight,’ The Foot said.
‘It is only August. Christmas is still four months away,’ I said in a quiet voice.
I suddenly felt forlorn and forsaken.
The Foot looked sad and lonely.
‘I saw them. The woman on a donkey. The man walking, carrying their bags. They went east.’
I went down on my knees and gently touched the cold heel, staring into the little flame of the mieliestronk candle.
‘How far is Bethlehem from here?’ The Foot asked after a comfortable silence.
I made a rough calculation and said ‘About 330 kilometers if you take the N1 south.’
‘That is fine then. They will be on time.’
Oh holy night, I sang in my heart as I walked home, watching the silhouette of three figures moving slowly on the horizon.
‘Hey! Watch your step!’
‘Sorry. I didn’t see you. Good morning Foot.’
‘You walked over me.’
‘Didn’t mean to. That is a cross. Between your no-toes.’
‘Yes. It is. I heard about the ugly white dog. So this is for her. ‘
‘I am touched. Thank you.’
‘This is all I have to give.’
‘Hear! The fish eagle!’
‘I hear nothing. I am toe deaf.’
‘Good bye. Remember. Always. One step at a time.’
‘I will. You too. One step at a time.’
‘That is funny.’