The prompt for the day was to write a descriptive piece. I had to think of one place I would love to journey to, I’d have to go there, I’d have to share it with you, paint you a picture of this important place. I turned to nostalgia for my answer, and I wrote, what I’m hoping to be an effective portrayal, of one of my favourite weekend outings as a boy. Enjoy!
It was a weekend, It was always a weekend when we went there. We waited until the sun was nice and round, full and clear, sitting perfectly in the sky.
There was a long stretch of shore line. I’m not sure what you call it when a man made body of water meets land like that, but the grass was right up against the water. You could see right across to the other side if you stood at the right place. Sometimes the water went on forever, an endless sheet of dancing sunlight, dropping off into the distance. The whole thing was like a mirror, wobbling and dancing. This wasnt a river, or a great ocean, so the water had a bit of elegance I guess, because it danced a shy little dance against the warm air that swept through.
There was a large building, it was the unmovable guardian of the water side. It stood sturdy and still, it was the long standing sanctuary from the Zambian sun. I could tell it had been there for a long time. It had these cracks that traced its walls, like wrinkles on a face that has seen more than its fair share of sunsets, I’m more than sure that it had seen its fair share of setting Suns over Mindolo. It’s once white walls were faded and had clearly been kissed by the sky’s offering during the rainy season. It was an old building but it housed everything we needed, the bar, the restaurant, the old slanted pool tables that sat right in front of the dj booth.
Between the mirrors edge and the old building, there was a wide stretch of grass. It was littered with rounded wooden tables, revarnished on occasion, but sporting there age in withered edges and dented slacks. There were unevenly spaced deck chairs huddled around them, waiting for the crowds. I remember how those tables attracted the herds of folk, hooves of happy patrons clip clopping across the worn grass paths to those sun lit perches.
I could tell people went there a lot, I could tell because of the grass. There was grass everywhere, but in places you could see it had been worn away by the frequent visits. Around the picnic tables you could see the green bleed to gold. I can imagine the little feet running around the table, as the adults sat down, drinking their cold drinks, drinks far too bitter for their youn mouths. The adults would occasionally stand to have a dance, joining the little feet in tracing another map of a joyful weekend in the blades of grass.
There was always music in the air. From the heart of the faded white building the disk jockey would spin his afternoon magic, he kept the air filled with music that kept the spirits high, matching the tempo of the peaking sun. He had a way of making it so there was always a song that made mum and dad dance, I remember mum shuffle in her seat pursing her lips the way she did, I remember dad stifling a laugh, I remember us all laughing.
I remember the fishing rods that dad would make up for us. Dad always brought some hooks and a reel of fishing line along with him, they might have been guitar string but dad was always resourceful like that. Past the big building and further away from the crowds, there was a place where the reeds had grown wildly against the wavering mirror. Dad would fetch us some reeds, he tied the line onto the ends and fix our hooks with his unmovable knots. He would help us bait our hooks and sat us down by the waters edge. It wasn’t very deep close to the grass, when the water was clear we could see the little fish swimming underneath the semi permeable mirror, I liked how sometimes I could see broken pieces of the sun in it, stealing a moment from the sky to dance in the water.
Everyone threw there sauced and seasoned meats onto to the barbiques. There barbiques pits everywhere, each was stood next to the picnic tables. With a hiss and a subtle mist, the air came alive with a world of flavour. Dad would watch over the pit and turn the pieces of meet with an experience eye, sending another cloud of flavour in the wind to tease the other tables who had just finished there share, or were readying there food for the fire.
We enjoyed the day until it was close to spent. Dad always liked the way the sun dipped in the water at the furthest edge. The sun dawned an orange hue, lowering itself into the water. I have watched dad look at it the same way every time. He watches very closely. He watched it until only a small corner of the sun was left peaking out of the water, the whole sky was tainted orange, the air grew cold and the loud music played on. There were less of the yoingervoices. We knew this meant it was time to go home. I always savoured those days by the water, the sun catching in the shimmering sheet, at Mindolo where we forged our memories.