the-river-that-lost-its-way-370x297Once upon a time there was a man, fan of old books bought in the streets of Lisbon. Among the old books of his outdated library, he have read several times with his wife the “Yantzi, Le Fleuve Vive”. The book was very well-written and had appealing images of a distant country, the empire of the middle. They have met very young and since then they had never separate apart. They were born in a small isolated village behind the mountains of the north of Spain. They both grow up enchanted and dreaming one day going together traverse that long river of China, to see distant countries. But life is unpredictable and the wife got ill. Then it followed a long period of sufferance that both endured stoically before the last moment, the last moment of her deliverance. A tear sliding down by the aged face that had often smile to him with love and passion, and the breath suddenly suspended. From then it had grown with him the strong wish to abandon every link to his previous life and, in a certain way, to live their dream. And finally, one day, he took an old ship to East Africa, never returning to his homeland.

The hot weather and the gently life on the African land didn’t bring comfort to him either, and he acquired the weird habitude to visit a mystique and wonderful isolated island located at a corner of one branch of the Maputo River, named by himself “The Lost River”. Maybe he wanted to say, “The Lost Me”. Maybe. It was just a bunch of sand and vegetation near the margin, with nothing else special but merely the loneliness of the location. The possibility to have a refuge in that uncanny place was a miracle and everything was so pristine, after crossing the ghostly dark river. He used to go with his old Chevy to the shore of the river by the morning, about 6 o’clock when the air was fresh and the sunlight bright. At the epoch, that region of Maputo was mostly inhabited. Sometimes he saw the silhouette of an old man, like him, that most probably lived in a small hut barely visible behind the trees. And it was indeed so, perhaps because it was somewhat uncomfortable to get into that dark brown body of water, the mud and the strange feeling of living beings running away from his foot in the dark mud, the entangled roots typical of the mangroves and the typical red Rhyzofora mucronata, making it difficult to walk through. And after, the river in front of him, the need to cross safely through an easy path that he discovered, where he had no need to swim, just walking to the island where flourishing trees were waiting to be seen and touched, the birds that lived there and shouted signaling danger to the other members of the specie, or stopping bye over the branch of a casuarina to look with curiosity to the human being far ashore from his natural place. Every time he crossed the river he was conscious that a predator could detect him invading their world, but that was also part of the adventure, the adventure that helped him to become oblivious of everything he had in his life, the overly rigid fascist society, the colonial mentality, the colonial war, the lonely nights. With a blowpipe he had the strange habit to hunt bats suspended and asleep up-side down above the trees. Then, one day, tired and surrounded by singing birds and the gentle breeze of the river, he fell asleep, finding himself in peace.

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