There was a time before the hat. A time of innocence, of knowing that one was right about pretty much everything, that one had seen it all, that one could not be challenged in any way shape or form about one’s life. But, when it appeared, freedom and thinking how you liked became a different story.
She appeared through a chink in the curtains at my window. Brim tilted down today – it was hot and the sun super bright – I called out for her to enter. “Ah, the hat has returned I see” I noted as she walked in.
“Yes – a, I’m so glad I found it!”
“What? It was lost?”
“Well, I couldn’t locate it for a whole day, then I spotted it at the bottom of my bag. Thank heavens! I can’t be without it for too long – and just in time, we’ve got the sun again.”
She asked me about my first night in the house – and indeed my first night without her companionship in my former home – the hut.
I had to admit there were a few issues. As my bed faced a gate through the window that provided entrance and exit to the bay it was not possible to leave the curtains wide open. No mosquito net had incurred a zillion bites during the night, and I had been horrified to see a large trail of ants marching across my window sill as I left for dinner the previous evening.
“Ah ha, so not only have you got a view you’ve paid for that you can’t see, but we may well just find a skeleton one of these mornings because the ants will have eaten you alive in the night!” “And” she paused, “Goodness me – look at the size of those mossy bites! We don’t get those in the hut!”
I laughed but really I wasn’t amused. Perhaps moving out had been the wrong thing to do.
That afternoon, I sat on a shaded balcony overlooking a sparkling Aegean, mug of tea in hand, bare feet resting on the low wall in front.
A tall cream ribbed-crown piece of headwear bobbed into view. A whiff of – who knows the origins – Scottish like its owner perhaps, or had it been acquired on one of many trips abroad?
She sat down beside me. “When I was in Namibia, there were just garnets scattered all over the beach” she said apropos of nothing. “It was amazing, apparently before that you could find diamonds.”
Through dark shades and an uplifted brim she considered the sea. I looked on in wonder. Diamonds? On the beach? For once I was silenced, in awe of the unexpected, rendered thoughtful by the new.