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The Bird at the Waterfall: By Seotsa ‘Soh’ Manyeli

 

waterfall bird

Image: Jack Mallon via Flickr

I see a bird at the foot of a waterfall. It is small, green with a whisper of red at the back. It is flipping its wings at the direction of the waters. It does not look to be in a hurry, but neither is it patient but the melody of whatever it is listening to is heard only by it. I stand somewhere on top of this hilarious crest and watch this duet going on. I see the waters splashing up and down as if to appreciate and to dance to the tune of some melody from some place and some time.

I stand on top of this crest of immaculate dreams and watch this daring bird dancing upon the face of something that shines with beads and beads of togetherness filling eternity with humour. I realized that this bird is taking the road less travelled. It is not dancing but showcasing something that can only be appreciated by those who understand the memory of tomorrow. I find that the dance that I watch is of a gallant bird that entices the heavens to some dance that can never be forgotten. I look at it standing from high above the sky. I am in another part of space; part of time but I manage to see this gallant bird as it flips its wings at the waters as they flow down this epic room of creation. The waters flow down at an alarming rate, the crystals falling up and down with clean fresh spontaneous dignity. Maybe the waters are also falling for this bird. Maybe the waters are enticing this bird to a more deliberate duet. I stand watching with some awe in my heart; I watch with some elegant sense of humour to something I cannot understand. But the bird, as if it doesn’t see the waters jumping and down when hitting the rocks below, continues to flip its wings at the direction of eternity.

Where I am standing I cannot say whether I am human or not. But the dance that I witness at this time is gallant. And the bird as it stands still flipping its wings in a balance to stand solid, and to control the movement of the duet. But I see this as a dance. I see this as a duet of two dissimilar elements of nature. I see the bird picturing itself as a new born creature in coming years. I see it as a small bird still, but through its riper years of freedom, of dance, the simple and loving deeds it continues to do as a small bird, gathering about it all these waters that jump up and down about it, making its feathers bright and lighter in scope and colour. I see this as a strange tale, maybe with a dream of wonderful deeds of long ago, feeling humbled with my simple sorrows of yesterday, and maybe finding pleasure in all the simple joys of watching a small bird daring the waters to a dance. I remembered my own life as a human being and the effect of my standing there and watching this was somehow a historical act.

As I watch these crystals of life flowing in a continuous motion to the bottom of an alleged pit I find that the memory of time is all but elusive. We find that time and beauty are timeless commodities; we embrace the beauty of life from things that are temporal, that pass. As I stand and witness the beauty of this bird I realize that I cannot say anything of time because I cannot say whether it is day or night, evening or morning. But what has caught flat my attention is this beautiful gallant bird enticing heaven to a duet. But we seek better of ourselves as we look for that something special that will sustain us when everything else has failed. But the effect of it being there at that particular time was incalculably diffusive; for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on the deeds that I performed when there was nothing around me except darkness. But maybe there are those who are ordinary but who find from the voice from within the merits of life that improve with every act acted upon from the basis of their hearts. This bird has nothing, only the melody and the courage to live a faithful and a secret life; that will raise even those who reside at the graves that have been forgotten even by their children.

I cannot believe I am alone in this body, but maybe I am not with this light that stands far from this space; but it seems to be a part of something that is I. I cannot believe this bird is alone in its body, and maybe it is a part of something that is light and that is a part of this space; and maybe again it is a part of something that is solid but magical still. In its mind, it owns a state of mind of not wanting things, of not having things. A state of mind of complete bliss, of being content at all times, of being courageous at all times. I find that I am not merely thinking of these things but there is some awareness that I have when watching this gallant bird flipping its wings at the direction of the waterfall. It stands in one position and flips its wings boldly, not too quick, not too slow but just typical and skilfully. I find that I can never find nor witness a dance as beautiful as this one. I can never witness anything as bold and as beautiful as this bird. But the one thing I see is that progression of time that sustains this bird into the genius that it has become. But the effect of it being there at that particular time was incalculably diffusive; for the growing good of the world was partly dependent on the deeds that we performed when there was nothing around us except doubt and uncertainty.

The price of my life became apparent to me; the price of seeking more from self became clear and somehow more painful. I realized that the picture I have always held in my mind was that of owning a state of mind of not wanting things, of not hating things and sometimes of not having things. I have always wanted a state of mind of complete bliss, of being content at all times, of being courageous at all times. I was seeing all these things from the picture of this bird as it dances with the waters of the waterfall, but it controls the dance, it drives the sensation of the duet. I thought of my ambition; to write for tomorrow and to be as good as I can in what I do. But the bird seemed to make a formidable contest, it seemed to surpass what I wanted to achieve. It was steady, completely at peace with what it was doing. It was completely at peace with its being at that place at that particular time. I found myself thinking of my life in relation to the bird, this particular one; but in thinking of these things there was some awareness that I have had when watching this gallant bird flipping its small but dependable wings at the direction of the waters. It was one of the few geniuses that hold on and move on, knowing that that gift, that flair is not to be betrayed; this bird has learnt how to give it shape, purpose and reality. But whatever its future, whatever its ambition, its aim in the days of its being; at the dawn of its life, it has sought a noble vision of its nature and its potential as a genius of its time.

The waters also seemed to enjoy this dance because they made more sound as they hit low at the base of the lake, they splashed up and down and their crystals became more light, whiter and they seemed to laugh. But I see this as a dance. I see this as a duet of two dissimilar elements of nature. I see the bird picturing itself as a new born creature in coming years. I see it as a petite creature still, but through its mature years of independence, of dance, of song, the easy and adoring actions it continues to do as a small bird, assembling about it all these waters that jump up and down about it, making its feathers bright and lighter in scope and colour. I observe this as an extraordinary story, maybe with a dream of magnificent actions of long ago, feeling modest with my uncomplicated regrets of yesterday, and proud moments of the future; and maybe finding pleasure in all the plain pleasures of watching a small bird daring the heavens to a dance. I recalled my own life as a writer and as a poet and the consequence of my standing here and watching this was somehow a peculiar performance. But I admit that I can never watch nor witness anything as beautiful and as brave as this bird doing its thing. I cannot believe I am alone in this body, but maybe I am not with this light that stands far from this space; but it seems to be a part of something that is contained within this body. I cannot believe this bird is alone in its body, and maybe it is a part of something that is light and that is a part of this space; and maybe again it is a part of something that is solid but magical still. In its mind, it owns a state of awareness of not wanting things, of not having things. But whatever its nature, and whatever its future, whatever its ambition, its aim in the days of its being; at the dawn of its life, it has sought a dignified vision of its nature and its potential as a mastermind of its time. This is what I hope for me and maybe for my children as well. This is what I seek for me and for those who aspire for the truth of nature, and maybe the truth of our own minutes will give us a modest understanding of our days.

 

Image: Jack Mallon via Flickr

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