Clifford: Durban

201 x 149 narrative

On a holiday alone with my mother — I think I was about 6 or 7 years old — at a farm near Dargle, a hundred kilometers or so from Durban, I rode a horse for the first time. In fact I didn’t just ride a horse, I insisted on remaining in the saddle the whole day. The next day my mother took me on a walk using the many paths one finds in hills carved by people and animals. When it was time for a midday snack my mother, a very accomplished Australian woman who grew up on a farm near Melbourne, picked a large wild mushroom and then kindled a fire with which to heat smooth, rounded rocks. She placed the mushroom on these now-hot rocks and we sat watching together as it sizzled in its juices. Its aroma has stayed with me. We broke the mushroom into pieces, as one might break bread, and had a truly scrumptious meal. When I make mushroom omelettes it is almost as if I am eating with my mother once again, around hot stones on a warm afternoon.