Rem­nants of a veld fire

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

IT’S the time of year for veld fires, burn­ing spon­ta­neously or un­der con­trolled su­per­vi­sion.

When you are on the edge of a sub­urb like I am, you can see them burn­ing many kilo­me­tres away.

Last week, I ob­served a veld fire some 6km to the west. The bil­low­ing smoke that rose above it made it more im­pres­sive. It was vis­i­ble from a vast dis­tance.

The smoke rose ver­ti­cally un­til it set­tled on a gen­tle breeze that wafted it east­wards over nu­mer­ous sub­ur­ban ar­eas and pos­si­bly into the main town it­self.

I looked up in the late af­ter­noon sky and watched the fi­nale of this spec­tac­u­lar show.

There in the calm, clear air were hun­dreds of lit­tle char­coaled leaflets do­ing their fi­nal death dance down to the ground.

They were like small black­birds tum­bling down to their even­tual rest­ing places.

Each car­bon char­ac­ter had its own in­di­vid­ual chore­og­ra­phy; the quick-step, the fox­trot, the gavotte, the Charleston, the cha-cha and the samba, not to men­tion rock and roll. Some pieces were even pirou­et­ting like bal­leri­nas.

Each em­ber was a pro­grammed artiste danc­ing with the air.

They fi­nally set­tled down on my lawn like dead men telling no tales. Their sto­ries were over.

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