Chapter 6

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Chapter 6
The breezy afternoon greeted me invitingly. I gazed at the cloudy sky. Walking to the slopes of the meadows I took a deep breath in. The smell of the ripening grapes tickled my nostrils. Who could have drawn this breathtaking picture of the nature?
How would life be to live in such a beautiful place? I yearned to stick myself there forever.

 

I was glad that right now only Winsters stayed in Silver Clouds. I am thankful to whoever made John and his family move from it. I loved uncle Jake but I hated his family. John was the sole reason for my pains.

 

The wine yards were few meters away from me. I could see the tiny shadows of the women moving around. The noises of them and their children carried along with the gentle wind. I turned my head behind to meet Silver Clouds. The barn house steadily stood there, its white fence shone as a silver line. The whole environment looked prosperous as same as the clouds with a silver line. How lucky my mother and her brother were to be brought up in such a wonderful and prosperous environment? But then doubts began to invade my tender heart.
Being blacks, perhaps originated by the Batu the native people of South Africa how did my grandparents live such a prosperous life? Blacks were meant to be slaves for centuries. Although my mother had a lighter complexion I was sure her parents were all blacks for I’ve seen my grandmother on her death bed and the handsomely looking photographs hanging on the walls explained my grandfather too was a black. How did they survive being rich? How did they escape themselves from discriminations happened for years? Didn’t the white men find my grandparents? Was Silver Clouds an invisible place? I turned my head once again to take a good look at the barn house and make sure it wasn’t invisible. While unanswered doubts began to pile in my head I tried to shake them off. Even though these doubts were reasonable who would mind answering my questions? Mother would snap at me and father would ignore me as usual.

 

My heart felt heavy so I stopped thinking. Instead I watched the serenity of the nature. The green fields were covered by a row of mountains like an army guarding a kingdom. My lips stretched as I thought Silver Clouds was all mine, my own palace and I am the queen of my kingdom. If, if I was the queen of this land the very first thing I would do is to banish my cousin to a deserted land and never let him walk in again. I giggled visualizing him, bent down to his knees, pleading for forgiveness.

 

With my toes I pushed out my sandals. Although it was sunny and warm the green grasses gave a wonderful feeling. I stepped forward with a smile printed on my lips. My eyes set on the tiny fruits hanging on the nearest bush. Mulberries looked blood red and ripened that I couldn’t keep my free hand touching and feeling the taste even before they met their destination, my tongue. I swallowed a bit of saliva before I plucked some of them. I nodded my head to a rhythm as I heard a distant song and I was sure it was sung by women who worked in the nearest wine yard. It would be perfect if I could visit a wine yard, I thought to myself. Stellenbocsh is a tourist destination and hundreds of tourists visit to enjoy the beauty of the nature every day. I didn’t want any evidences to know that my grandparents had been living prosperously in this place yet I doubted whether they owned any of the wine yards anymore. A forlorn sigh was released for no reason. Although it was a serene place to live, she, my grandma must have felt lonely to live in this place. None of her children were with her when she died. How sad it is to see parents been left alone in their old age?
“siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwenkhos'” distracting my thoughts the gently blowing wind carried a melodious voice sung those lines to a rhythm. Xhosa, I understood a little yet I was familiar with this folk song. Although I had not been blessed with a melodious voice I joined with the unknown distant voice to sing the song.
Siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwenkhos’,
Siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwenkhos’,
Siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwenkhos’,
Siyahamb’ ekukhanyen’ kwen-,
Khanyen’ kwenkhos’,
Siyahamba, hamba,

We are marching in the light of God,
We are marching in the light of God,
We are marching in the light of God,
We are marching in the light of,
The light of God,

I marched as I sung carrying my injured arm as a weapon. Which side should I walk? Right or left? North or south? Which side is the light of god? Whichever the side, I just wished I could see the so called light without walking blindly towards an unknown path.
“Enjoying the sunny evening miss Beth?” I jumped on my feet. The woman in her fifties smiled to me. The wrinkles in her face stretched as her lips parted. The sweat drenched face was glowing to the sun. Her right hand moved towards her head to remove the triangle red cloth she was tying in her head. I had seen her before, perhaps at the funeral.
“Would you like to have some home baked cookies?” she asked patting her bag. I shook my head sideways. My eyes rested on her hand made string bag and then at my palm now colored with crushed mulberries.
“Seems like your hands are already full missy” she said with a smile. I smiled: my half grown front teeth might have looked funny for she stared at me for some time with affection. My eyes widened as I saw a pool of tears glittering in her eyes. Seeing my expression she quickly tilted her head towards the back door of the Silver Clouds.
“Come in missy, it is not a time to wander around” she said as she walked to the back door. She was a maid? But I was sure that I hadn’t seen her in barn house with other maids.
“You work here?” I asked. She turned to me with a smile. “Naw, I come to Silver Clouds once in a while, my mother worked for Finigons.” she said walking in and I nodded understandingly. So she falls into much trusted lot within Finigons. Since the other maids had been sent home,perhaps mother wanted this woman to help her with the chores in barn house. If her mother worked for Finigons then, ‘wow! She has been around from her childhood’ I briskly slipped my feet into the sandals and ran behind the woman. Not for the promised cookies but to know about everything. She looked friendly and nice and she probably might not neglect me. So trusting the strange woman I followed her into the kitchen.

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